Monday, September 19, 2011

Paper or Online Version (St. Pete Times)

Post Recaps: Thursday, September 15, 2011

To fully understand where I'm going with this post you have to first read my recent news story published in the St. Pete Times. Read: St. Pete Times and the CriticWithin a week or more after that article came out, I noticed another version online. Check this out: 

Original Link:

SEPTEMBER 01, 2011

Motown Maurice trades Tampa for Los Angeles in a go-for-broke bid for stardom

motownmaurice1.jpgIn the world of Snookie and Real Housewives, it's not unusual to meet someone with little or no background in performing who wants to be a star. But I have never met anyone quite like aspiring late night talk show host Motown Maurice.
I first wrote about him last year, when the then-Tampa resident pulled together all his credit cards to drop more than $30,000 creating a late-night talk show in the Cuban Club which was broadcast on WTTA-Ch. 38. Airing at 1 a.m. on Saturday night, it had a time finding viewers and sponsors, so it was gone after 10 airings. But it eventually left Motown convinced he had to move west to seek his dream.
motownmaurice4.jpgHosting a nationally shown, late night TV talk show.
Its an amazingly specific quest -- especially for a guy who isn't really a comedian, comedy writer or comic actor; the primary entry points into the gig for people like Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon. So when I realized Motown was in Los Angeles pursuing his dreams, I made sure to visit him during my time in Hollywood covering the TV Critics Association's summer press tour.
motownmarucie3.jpgWhat I found, was a still-optimistic, hardworking guy nearly on the verge of homelessness. Unwilling to dilute his focus on show business, Motown hasn't gotten a side job; he was living with a friend from his college days rent-free for 10 months, but when that ended, he was forced to sleep in a dodgy residence facility crammed with people suffering from mental illnesses or struggling with addiction.
Most recently, he's landed in a hotel for a few weeks, courtesy of a jobs program operated by the county of Los Angeles. But he seems to be following a path to stardom along the rockiest road imaginable -- auditioning for commercials, hosting jobs and game shows such as Let's Make a Deal and Baggage while strategizing on how to keep a roof over his head and using a credit card from his mother for food (the jobs program will also provide some relief in food stamps).
motownmaurice3.jpgIt was such an interesting tale, I couldn't help writing a feature for Sunday's Floridian on his quest.
A freelance photographer we hired in Los Angeles, Nancy Pastor, elevated my work with some amazing images documenting Motown's efforts.
At the heart of it all is a simple question: Is this guy fooling himself? Or can his unshakeable will bring success before he burns out or loses faith?

Check out the story I wrote about him, and answer that question for yourself.


I noticed a huge difference in the style of writing and I couldn't help but try to understand why the online version wasn't printed instead.  I like the online version better and the reporter did the same thing last year. Before calling to ask why, I first inquired  responses  from my Urgent Message Union on Facebook. Here are the responses I received. 


Tamara Cloonan McClure 
Hi, Motown! I just read this article and I read the one that appeared in the paper when you posted it on your blog. I agree that this one is much more positive. I will still comment on your blog rather than taking up a whole page here; I guess a late comment is better than no comment??? ; ) Although, I have written and rewritten many times over in my head. : )

TaMyra T.K. Henderson
Awesome as well!

Reggie Smiley 
I agree that this one is much more positive. Love the pics
September 8 at 3:23am · Like

Pamela Robinson 
Is there any way Eric Deggans can go back and retract the story that was in St Pete Times two weeks ago and replace it with this one???? What is going on, this is such a nice article!

September 8 at 5:47pm 

He definitely should, you're absolutely right. He needs to go back and retract the story in the St. Pete Times.

Alice Beatty 
Good follow-up article. I read the first article again, and you're right. The follow-up is better, and I think it comes across as more positive because it is obvious more thought went into it. Comparing the two makes the first one seem rushed, as though he didn't really organize his notes/thoughts, and just wanted to make deadline or something. I will check out your blog, and comment there. Be blessed!
September 8 at 4:02am 

Phil Buck 
He might have more personal freedom with the blog than what get's put into paper. Papers' always have their own agenda and limit what get's put in and how much gets put in. I wouldn't worry about it too much. At least you're getting some press, right? Keep it up.
September 12 at 6:40pm 

Final Thoughts

Before calling I realized that Phil had a good point. Regardless of his reasons, I'm still appreciative but I still desire full understanding. I called him today for the first time since he wrote the pieces to first thank him and to ask a few questions of course. His explanation informed me of the differences. The newspaper version is reviewed and edited by someone else. They pick the pictures and I believe they also write the headline. The story has to immediately address whats happening to the readers. Its a different format and platform. As a writer Eric Deggans has the responsibility to deliver the facts to the reader. Although he told me they really didn't change anything in his story, I understood the circumstances. 

As apposed to the online version/blog its a more conversational piece. There is much more freedom in writing that.  The power of knowing is a wonderful thing. This allows me not to get emotionally pointless and instead use the knowledge towards the benefit of future stories. Initially, I was trying to figure out "What in the world is going on?" Now that I understand, I know what to expect in the future. Not only with future articles with him but with other reporters. I'm learning the process and that's most important. 

Previous Related Post: St. Pete Times & the Critic 

As the quest continues...

The Future of Late Night

Motown Maurice

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