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Zombie overload?

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Posted: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 10:39 am | Updated: 6:30 am, Mon May 21, 2012.

Did we go overboard with our zombie coverage?

At least a few angry readers thought so.

Our coverage was certainly extensive on the downtown zombie walk and related activites last weekend. We did a page one feature and a Lodi Living special on zombie-mania a week before the events. We did a short reminder just before, and provided page one coverage, with ghoulish photos, afterward. 

In the newsroom, we saw the zombiefest as something fun and different, a chance to be creative and celebrate an off-beat event. After all, it isn't every day you see zombies on School Street. This is also true: As a news organization, we are trying to reach out to young readers, and we felt this was an event with a somewhat youth-oriented, admittedly edgier theme.

But some readers were quite offended. They felt we were glorifying something dark and somewhat perverse.

"Why would you put that one page one of your newspaper?," asked one reader. "That's just garbage."

Another reader just shook his head.

"I don't want to see that kind of thing in my hometown newspaper."

When does extensive coverage become overkill? How do we welcome some readers without offending others?

Your feedback is always welcome: richardh@lodinews.com.

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Welcome to the discussion.

12 comments:

  • Judy Raderchak posted at 5:25 pm on Thu, Nov 3, 2011.

    Judy Raderchak Posts: 1

    I think it's good business to advertise considering how small lodi is.

     
  • Samantha Purkey posted at 9:15 am on Thu, Nov 3, 2011.

    Sunny Samules Posts: 4

    Zombie: A soulless corpse said to be revived by witchcraft. In a small town with 70 churches I wouldn't have thought too many people would be into it.

     
  • Charles Nelson posted at 8:41 am on Thu, Nov 3, 2011.

    Charles Nelson Posts: 258

    The Zombies are just enjoying themselves and doing good things for the community. When did those two concepts become a pain in anyone's backside?

     
  • Adrianne Bussey posted at 6:04 pm on Wed, Nov 2, 2011.

    Addy Posts: 2

    Correction $5 billion not $5 million :)

     
  • Adrianne Bussey posted at 5:38 pm on Wed, Nov 2, 2011.

    Addy Posts: 2

    Not everyone is going to agree with everything. The $5 Million industry helps the local business by bringing a fraction of that industry to Lodi. I think the creative atmosphere that was promoted during Zombie Walk is something that many people have lost sight of. 100 years ago, everything was hand made and you were forced to express your creativity. Today, we have mass marketed cookie cutter molds that have hindered the creative process.

    Sure you may not agree with the ideas of Zombies, but to each their own opinion! It was a huge event in Lodi and deserved the attention it got because it brought the community together. New things are happening, and I will be part of them. I met new people that I am proud to call my friends. I was able to express my creative self in a safe enviroment. So I say THANK YOU for the coverage you gave. It made a great event known to the general public!

     
  • Laurie Johnson posted at 5:00 pm on Wed, Nov 2, 2011.

    phantomlaj77 Posts: 1

    If you came out to the Zombie walk, you saw creative people being... well... creative and in a friendly, safe, and law-abiding way. It was a family friendly good time! I believe that our small town newspaper did an excellent job of covering both the Zombie walk and the Safe Downtown Trick-or-Treating event for the kids. Aside from the Zombie walk being a huge and fun event, they raised a large amount of money for a very good cause! I believe that the paper helped the Zombie's raise that money by letting our town know about it in such detail. It was a positive event that, I hope, will continue for years to come. For those people who do not enjoy such events, you are welcome not to attend. However, there are many events in our paper that are covered in great detail, that do not interest me... I do not complain that they are being covered. I simply choose to ignore those articles and move on to what interests me. To the Lodi News Sentinel staff... thank you for being fair in covering many different types of events in our wonderful town. I appreciate your fairness to all who are reading.

     
  • Geoff Foley posted at 4:51 pm on Wed, Nov 2, 2011.

    Geoff Foley Posts: 1

    The zombie subgenre of horror is estimated to be a $5 billion dollar industry, and growing. How is that not relevant when it is being used as a tool to support local businesses?

     
  • Tom Presler posted at 4:47 pm on Wed, Nov 2, 2011.

    Tom Presler Posts: 12

    I respectfully disagree with my friend Samantha.

    Regarding newspaper coverage specifically, our local community newspaper has the job mostly of covering significant events which happen and shape our local community. It's my belief, as bias as I may seem, that our Zombie Walk and Surrounding Halloween Events this year was newsworthy and the local newspaper properly provided it's service to our community.

    Secondly, I would like to point out that the masses who came out really, really enjoyed this event. The thing I truly enjoy about Zombie Walk is it brings all kinds together: young, old, white, black, rich and poor. In an era where we seem so divided as a country, I'm very proud that everyone from all circles came together comfortably and had so much fun... together... in this event.

    And finally, a recent national news story cited that... Zombies... have now become a $5 Billion industry of it's own identity. Bottom line: It's good for business, specifically, for small and local businesses in our community.

    Lodi will be put on the map with Seattle, Sacramento, Toronto, Ashbury Park and other known cities as Halloween Travel Destinations for their Zombie oriented and Halloween Events.

    Write That Down.

    And that, my friends... is why this is newsworthy.

     
  • Tom Presler posted at 4:41 pm on Wed, Nov 2, 2011.

    Tom Presler Posts: 12

    I respectfully disagree with my friend Samantha.

    Regarding newspaper coverage specifically, our local community newspaper has the job mostly of covering significant events which happen and shape our local community. It's my belief, as bias as I may seem, that our Zombie Walk and Surrounding Halloween Events this year was newsworthy and the local newspaper properly provided it's service to our community.

    Secondly, I would like to point out that the masses who came out really, really enjoyed this event. The thing I truly enjoy about Zombie Walk is it brings all kinds together: young, old, white, black, rich and poor. In an era where we seem so divided as a country, I'm very proud that everyone from all circles came together comfortably and had so much fun... together... in this event.

    And finally, a recent national news story cited that... Zombies... have now become a $5 Billion industry of it's own identity. Bottom line: It's good for business, specifically, for small and local businesses in our community.

    Lodi will be put on the map with Seattle, Sacramento, Toronto, Ashbury Park and other known cities as Halloween Travel Destinations for their Zombie oriented and Halloween Events.

    Write That Down.

    And that, my friends... is why this is newsworthy.

     
  • Samantha Purkey posted at 11:57 am on Wed, Nov 2, 2011.

    Sunny Samules Posts: 4

    I think the Zombie thing is stupid. So now anyone who want to play dress up gets front page coverage. Must be a slow news day.

     
  • Tom Presler posted at 10:51 am on Wed, Nov 2, 2011.

    Tom Presler Posts: 12

    True Story: ( I can't make this up! )

    Earlier in the year when Zombie Club was promoting local and small businesses with our coupon book, which explained what ZC was all about, one home's response was quite amusing...

    It was an older, elderly couple. The wife was ready to purchase a coupon book and had read in the newspaper about us and had a positive opinion of what we were doing. Her husband was less supportive. "I know what Zombies are. They eat people! They want to attack and eat people," the husband complained.

    I assured the gentleman that Zombies were NOT real, and that what you see in the movies aren't real either, and that we're all positive and creative people who want to have fun and do good things in our community.

    The man scoffed once again, and said "I know what zombies are! They will eat people!!" The man wasn't joking. He was, by all indications, alarmed and had serious concerns of "real" zombies.

    My point is this... it's a matter of individual perspective. I can't be prejudice and say that it's about age or your generation. At our February theatrical production of "Night of the Living Dead" by Changing Faces Theater Company, one of the sweetest ladies greeted me and gave me a big hug and told me how much she enjoyed the show. She is 92.

    Not everyone will appreciate new ideas. Not everyone will appreciate new creativity or creative expression. Not everyone will see this as newsworthy... and that's fine.

    As for myself, and what I observe as a positive response from the community at-large, is that... as ironic as I can put it, the undead event has breathed new life into our community in a few ways.

    We brought people together from all ages, classes, backgrounds, ethnicities, etc... to commune in a Creative and Fun event. People were able to express themselves in a way that was positive and not a 'protest.'

    I have found, in my experience, that those who embrace creativity and dare to step outside their routine world every now and then.... and 'play,' seem to be the happiest people I meet.

    Albert Einstein, I believe it was, once said "It's not that you stop playing when you get older... it's that you get older when you stop playing."

    In a positive, creative and constructive way... Let us all Play!

     
  • Rhonda Love posted at 3:05 pm on Tue, Nov 1, 2011.

    rlove Posts: 2

    I thought your coverage was great! We actually attended the function and it was a great time for ALL ages. We saw babies, teens, young and old adults alike. It was an event that was creative and fun for everyone! Not to mention, it was for a good cause.

     

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