Thursday, August 30, 2007

Honolulu Advertiser Article - Gwen Stefani Concert Feature

Last week I went to see Gwen Stefani's concert at the Blaisdell with my boyfriend. Afterwards, I looked up the write-up on the Advertiser's website. On the whole, the article wasn't badly written, I guess, although I think the writer/editor could certainly stand to trim a lot of the fat.

Take the headline, for instance, which is probably not the writer's doing, but anyway..."Dance pop mega-star Stefani thrills younger fans" ... Dance pop mega-star. It doesn't quite roll off the tongue, does it? I wasn't too crazy about the lede, either:

Add this to the list of things you don't see in Hawai'i everyday: A 37-year-old girl from Orange County, Calif., with dyed platinum blond hair leading a sold-out Blaisdell Arena crowd in the chant, "This (expletive) is bananas ... b-a-n-a-n-a-s!"

Sure, it paints a picture, but my first image is of Gwen Stefani tossing her hair around back and forth to lead a crowd in chant like an orchestra conductor, until I realize that the subject of the sentence is supposed to be the 37-year-old "girl" and not her hair. Although maybe I'm just being overly picky.

But the real zinger for me was the closing sentence, which I think should definitely be paid special attention, since it is a feature story and not a news story: "Until she returns to Hawai'i with No Doubt — writer crosses his fingers here — this would have to do."

First of all, the verb tense is not consistent. Until she returns, this will have to do. Second of all, since the "writer" consistently uses "I" throughout the article, why suddenly switch to the third person? It makes it seem like he's got some kind of split personality disorder. And I don't even think I would keep the random interjection there in the first place. It only tells me, the reader, that this writer seems to be a Stefani fanboy, although he spends the majority of the second half of the article criticizing aspects of her performance.

And why does he use the word "culled" twice in the article? Did his friend give him a 365 SAT Words page-a-day calendar for Christmas or something?

Anyway, so those are the things that particularly bothered me in this article.

Oh, and this is entirely unrelated, but why the heck do the articles in Advertiser's website always have random title tags that don't match the article? They seem to change from day to day, too, so that when you bookmark them, you get one random title as the default bookmark name, and then when you access the URL later, it's a completely different, yet still incorrect, title. For instance, when I bookmarked this article, the title tag (seen at the top of your browser window) was, "Bill would violate Constitution, create dangerous division", and now it says, "Okinawan culture taking center stage" (don't you love the random capitalization, too?). My guess is that by the time you guys click on the article, it'll be an entirely different title.

Man I wish they'd hire me for their web team. ;)

ETA: I only realized now that in the lede where it says, "Add this to the list of things you don't see in Hawai'i everyday...", it says everyday and not every *space* day. I guess it was a crash and burn from the beginning, huh? Haha, I'm only kidding. But that is another error. :P


Pat said...

Thanks for a good post, Jennifer. Lots in yours to talk about, so I'll print it for the class too :)

Lori said...

Hmmm, I haven't had the chance to read the article, but it seems to me that even tho the author is probably not a fan of Gwen Stefani he is a fan of No Doubt, which is why he's crossing his fingers. But I agree that switching to the third person was a little unnecessary.