Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

Is the Gazette selling out?

Here is what the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies says about the Oklahoma Gazette:

…While the Gazette has grown into the largest weekly newspaper in the state, we never lose sight of our mission: to analyze, recognize, stimulate and expose. The Oklahoma Gazette’s award-winning writers tell it like it is. Our progressive approach does not always make people happy. But we provide the balance we, and our readers, think is sorely missing from our daily newspapers and electronic media outlets. We do not follow the rest of the journalism herd, noisily tramping from press-conference-to -press conference. Instead, we look for that one thing about a story that sets off mental fireworks. Complimenting the Gazette’s thought-provoking commentary and news section is our commitment to the community with our extensive, and often exclusive coverage of local music, food and restaurants, entertainment and the arts. Our visually attractive design draws in readers from across the demographic spectrum, from members of the Greatest Generation to Generations X and Y. Oklahoma Gazette does not strive to make people look good. We strive to be fair.

In a way, I kind of agree with that description. And I think it summarizes why I’ve always been an avid reader of the weekly newspaper. Seriously, I still remember the highlight of my family’s $3.99 enchilada night dinner excursions being picking up a Gazette and reading the angry old bald guy’s movie reviews on the ride home. That, and the sopapillas.

Anyway, in this week’s issue the Gazette prints the typical Gazette stuff: angry letters to the editor, the beautiful and snarky chicken friend news, stuff to do this weekend, and classified ads for “massage therapists.” But one thing was different. In this week’s issue, they have a 20-page special section dedicated to…

Nursing.

Yes, our state’s nurses (and the shortage of them) commands a 20-page, ad dominated section of this state’s finest “alternative” weekly. I’m not sure what’s so “alternative” about nurses, and why they get such a large feature, but it makes you wonder what special sections are coming next? Maybe a tribute to the plight of trial lawyers? Perhaps an outside view of CPAs? Or better yet, maybe a look at Oklahoma’s 20 best furniture retailers. Anything to sell an ad, right?

If I ran the Gazette, I would stay true to my roots and would avoid advertorial-looking special sections on the boring health care industry. There is nothing alternative about that. Instead, I would do what works and publish features on amazing obscure local social blogs. Or AWESOME Halloween Parades. Or “40 candy stripe nurses under 40.” I’d even put mighty Joe Wertz and Hinder in a replica TARDIS and document what happens. I’d also bring back the old angry bald guy who wrote the movie reviews.

Anything to sell an ad, right?

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Comments

  1. Hi, Guys! Ass. Pub. of Gazette here. True to our roots, eh?

    Gazette’s mission is to support this community by continually helping make it better. Just a thought, but if we don’t have adequate health care, how are we to lose our million pounds for Mayor Mick and Stop Tobacco with Me?

    We hope that ALL of the “alternative” things we do: Parades, Dog Races, and yes, even raising awareness of the overwhelming nursing shortage, continue to strengthen our community, its brand, and its quality of life.

    I’m going to ask you guys to join our next special section brainstorming session!

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Assoc. or Asst.? Either way, the criticism seems to be focused on the length of the piece, not the content. Perhaps the Ass.editor has a comment? Or were there not enough edgy, alternative parades, concerts, dog shows, etc… this week? Just asking–I love the Gazette–You Rule!

  3. The biggest scam about the Gazette is the Best of contest. It is a way for the ad dept to get a business to take out an ad to thank the voters. Also I noticed that only companies that advertise get a write up. Also the massage ads in the back are totally tacky. Its like the Craigslist Erotic Services section in print!

  4. The Gazette hasn’t been releveant since… well, let’s see….
    NEVER!

    Not even back to the days of Spike, Wild Bill and those Steve Hill cartoons.

    They’re about as alternative as Hinder and always have been.

  5. Good thing there are 88 other pages for you to read if you don’t like the nursing section. And yes, anything for them to sell an ad. I want the Gazette to keep on being free!!

  6. Jeffri-Lynn Dyer is the Associate Editor, not assistant. While I agree with her that bringing attention to our struggling health care system is a cause worthy of the Gazette’s focus, I think the argument against it has to do with the way it was presented, not the content itself.

    When I picked up my Gazette this week–as I do every week–the first thing I did was rip out that “special section” in the middle. It looked like one huge advertisement when I first flipped through it. Then I thought, “Why in the hell would these schools and hospitals buy a 20-page ad section? That must have cost a fortune.” When I started reading the paper–sans “special section”–I noticed that the page numbers jumped where the “ad” was missing. That’s when I opened it to see that the content was actually written by Gazette writers. Unfortunately, I still wasn’t interested in reading it.

  7. I like how on this page, your Google Ads pulls up a banner ad for the University of Phoenix’s nursing degree. Anything for an ad, right? Zing!

    Oh, and about the Best Of contest: I only wish it were rigged. That’d make our jobs *a lot* easier.

  8. Just to put in my “two cent’s” As a registered nurse in the state of oklahoma, I have to say that it was a great effort to get some information out to people about the state of the nursing industry. I personally have left the hospital setting for a much more lucrative position in medical sales. I have to say that every day I worked in the hospital, I was looking for a way out. The current nursing shortage is only going to get worse. Currently hospitals are being forced to stretch their resources which put patients in jeopardy every day. I know it’s rediculous to most people that the gazette would do this but if you spend a few days in the hospital here in Oklahoma and you are laying in a pile of crap and your nurse won’t answer the call light or you are in pain and they are an hour late with your pain medicine or you’ve fallen and nobody comes to help you, you will understand the significance of advertising for the nursing industry. It doesn’t make sense until you experience the trouble first hand and realize that as a state, we are in trouble.

    That’s about all I have to say about that.

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