Why so little attention?

This has been bothering me. At the beginning of last month members of the Long Island wine industry with the help of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation and the Long Island Wine Council put together and pulled off a very successful symposium designed to bring outside expertise in, and the inside word out. I was able to attend the first day and half of the second, and I found the experience to augur well for the future of the wine industry. Everyone worked together, egos were in check (mostly) and I know a postmortem meeting has produced plans for a symposium at least every other year.

And the writer assigned to cover the Long Island wine business for the New York Times not only decided not to go, he felt comfortable writing 264 words — based on a copy of Eric Fry’s talk — for publication three weeks after the event. What gives?

The Times coverage has diminished. Once Howard Goldberg wrote on the wines in the Long Island section, and we used to feel bad for him that he had to come up with something every week. Now it’s every other week, and wine makers have told me when he calls to say it’s their turn, they decline to send him samples. The content on the  Long Island wine section on the Times’s website is rarely updated except to include the shorts that make it into the paper.

Perhaps the industry does not generate enough money to make it interesting enough for coverage. Or it’s just not being marketed well enough.

People visiting the area want to drink Long Island wine and enjoy visiting the tasting rooms. I’m sure they want to read about it.



Filed under In the news

7 responses to “Why so little attention?

  1. Couldn’t agree with you more, Eileen.

    When I was first invited to the Symposium, I emailed Howard to find out if he’d be attending. He said that he would not but that it would be a “good opportunity” for me to taste. (Not sure what he meant by that).

    It’s not just the NY Times though…look at Newsday, you know Long Island’s paper. There is the occasional business-related story in there, but very little beyond that. Peter G, when he does get around to writing about any LI wines, only does so in passing.

    It’s puzzling. In any other region I’ve visited (only a few and only in the U.S.) all of the local publications cover the local wine community/industry much more completely and regularly.

  2. As a blogger rather than a traditional journalist, I’m not sure how I feel about Mr. Goldberg writing a column based on a copy of Eric’s presentation.

    Is that a common practice in traditional journalism, Eileen? You’d know far better than I would.

  3. cellarette

    if you’re playing catch up it is.

  4. It’s especially surprising because I’m sure that what Eric actually said deviated greatly from what he had written down.

  5. zolar

    who cares? Print is dead.

  6. cellarette

    Howard G. Goldber sent me a reply to this post by e-mail . It reads:

    If your priority is to run a blog that practices responsible wine journalism, you would have felt a need to contact me — I am easily findable — and to ask if producers on Long Island have in fact refused to send me samples.
    If you had, I would have told you that since the founding of the column, Long Island Vines, this has never happened. From the mid-1990’s onward this has never once happened. Never once. You might have reported what I said. Let readers decide.
    Lenn Thompson sort of echoes this baseless claim in his blog. He uses “allegedly” to protect his flank, but it is thin protection. He certainly knows how to reach me in seconds, but didn’t. I wonder why.
    Why don’t you call back whoever told you they have declined to send samples and ask their permission to identify them in print? Ask them to explain why they don’t send samples. Ask what they have said to me in turning me down. If you don’t, or if you take refuge in a supposed necessity of anonymity — of protecting your “sources” — your “reporting” will seem even more careless than I personally can see it is.
    Howard G. Goldberg

  7. cellarette

    I don’t know how to edit my own comments! Or if it’s possible. The last letter in Howard G. Goldberg’s name was omitted in the above comment. My apologies.

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