Cleveland.com's Twitter Account Has Used More Heart Emojis Since Friday than the Word 'Journalism' Since the Inauguration of Donald Trump

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Here are all six instances in which a heart emoji (❤️) appeared in a @clevelanddotcom tweet since Friday, July 20.


And here are the five instances in which the word "journalism" has appeared in a tweet from the same account since Jan. 20, 2017, the day of Donald Trump's inauguration. (Two are promoting "Guns: An American Conversation" and one is quoting a Mashable headline.)




This is not, to be fair, a scientific or exhaustive comparison. But it's more or less illustrative of the account's tenor.

And there's not a ton of analysis required.



It's enough to mention that Cleveland.com is the region's largest and most influential media outlet. Quite apart from which digital content it chooses to prioritize or how it chooses to interpret audience "engagement" — there's no harm in agreeing to disagree on those fronts — it simply must be a stronger advocate for journalism and journalists in today's climate.

Our anxieties about Cleveland.com's leadership and mission are intensified by the calendar. In 2019, the Plain Dealer's union contracts will expire, and it's anybody's guess what will happen at that juncture. Will the reporters and editors at Advance Ohio's print offshoot, (consigned to stepchild status despite being the states's most recognizable brand in journalism), be invited to join the digital staff? Will they be tasked with producing a print product with ever-dwindling financial resources, pages, delivery days, and journalists?

Who can say?

Yesterday, the Chicago-based media company Tronc — eviscerated in this memorable John Oliver piece — laid off half the newsroom at the New York Daily News, the famous tabloid with the punny headlines that it acquired last year. Tronc saw fit to axe 25 of 34 sports journalists and most of the photo department, according to the New York Times. This devastating piece of industry news went unmentioned on Cleveland.com. Ironically, the last time the Daily News rated coverage on our local site was when it won a Pulitzer, with ProPublica, for its monumental reporting on eviction last year.

We suspect that working for distant corporate overlords who care far more passionately about profits than they do about their employees (or what their employees do) can be dispiriting. And we have immense respect for the committed reporters and editors who battle in Cleveland.com's trenches while their masters crunch the numbers on which they are judged.

But the numbers that this story's headline alludes to are ugly. They ought to be regarded with real embarrassment by the higher-ups at Cleveland.com. And if they're not, Advance Ohio should consider shifting fully to its digital marketing business and leave the journalism to the reporters and editors who have managed, through their abuse, to still give a shit. 

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