5th Daytona Beach News-Journal attack story on internet newspaper's lawful ad authority contract filled with errors

News-Journal's 5th attack story filled with errors / Headline SurferDaytona Beach News-Journal business writer Jeffrey CassadyDaytona Beach News-Journal Editor Pat Rice / Headline SurferPhotos by Headline Surfer / In yet a 5th story on Headline Surfer's lawful contract with the Southeast Volusia Advertising Authority, the Daytona Beach News-Journal continues to report factual errors while at the same time denying the internet newspaper an opportunity to defend itself and answer each and every claim, most of them raised by the print paper itself. Shown here is News-Journal business reporter Jeffrey Cassady, who wrote this latest attack story, and to his right is Pat Rice, editor of the Halifax Media-owned former metro.

DAYTONA BEACH -- In yet a 5th story published Monday and headlined, "Tourism exec: Time to move ahead," The Daytona Beach News-Journal continues to file stories that contain factual errors the former daily metro refuses to correct regarding Headline Surfer's lawful contract with the Southeast Volusia Advertising Authority, even when these errors are brought to the attention of its reporter and senior editor.

Headline Surfer cannot recite the entire News-Journal article verbatim due to copyright provisions, but the internet newspaper will try its best to point out clear-cut factual errors without benefit of providing readers the entire content with the exception of a link: http://www.news-journalonline.com/article/20130818/NEWS/130819420/1043/NEWS0403?Title=Tourism-exec-Time-to-move-ahead. It should be noted that unlike access to HeadlineSurfer.com, which is 100 percent free, Halifax Media, owner of the Daytona Beach News-Journal, allows 5 free clicks per month and then readers have to either pay the monthly digital subscription fee or subscribe to the 7-day home print delivery for free online access.

Headline Surfer will first outline the factual errors pertaining to its lawful contract with the SVAA that were published in the story that was posted online at 7:50 p.m. Sunday and re-hashed verbatim in print in Monday's newspaper.

Factual Error by the Daytona Beach News-Journal: Tallevast also questioned why Davis attended a June meeting at which Henry Frederick, publisher and sole reporter for HeadlineSurfer.com, pitched an early version of the agreement to ad authority staff. 

Fact: The meeting with Tallevast in June was an overview show-and tell on how the internet newspaper is put together, how it reaches a global audience and what it offers in the way of multi-media presentation, including videos, social media and public interaction. The only thing mentioned in the way of a contract was the price and our video/photo collection: $10,000 for six months of 24/7 exposure anchored on the home page as well as a willingness to share our multi-media images from countless events the internet newspaper has covered sinceour launch April 7, 2008 launch, initially as NSBNews.net.

Fact: Tallevast wanted to know the cost. When Headline Surfer gave her the figure, she said it appeared high, though she acknowledged she conceded she knew of no other media outlet in Florida that has Headline Surfer's extensive video and photo archives of hyper-local tourism events.

She even conceded that VisitFlorida.com, the Florida tourism website she relies on to promote her West Volusia Advertising Authority has few, if any videos and no news content supporting local tourism; that most of its photos and graphics are airbrushed stock art.

Headline Surfer pointed out that its video catalogue alone is worth more than $10,000. To illustrate the point, the internet newspaper pointed out that it was told the SVAA paid several hundred dollars for the one-time use of a photo, which she did not dispute. After the meeting that day, Headline Surfer never heard from Tallevast again.

Factual Error by the Daytona Beach News-Journal:  (SVAA Marketing and Project Manager Elizabeth) Gifford, who said she convinced Frederick to include access to his photo and video archives to justify the agreement’s price tag, recommended the proposal to Tallevast in an email and called it “an excellent buy for six months.”

Fact: Gifford did not convince Headline Surfer to do anything. She merely re-iterated in a collaborative effort the selling point of the videos, which has been among Headline Surfer's sstrongest points in news and advertising over the past five years.

Gifford told Headline Surfer Monday that from her point of view, everone during the presentation agreed Headline Surfer's videos were strong.

The description by the News-Journal gives the reader the impression that it was Gifford who made an otherwise weak proposal strong by emphasizing the videos.

Headline Surfer also needs to point out that while everyone else in the story was given an opportunity to respond to accusations made either by the News-Journal or allegedly by Tallevast, the News-Journal did not show the reader in the published story that it made an attempt to reach out to Headline Surfer refute specific allegations made by Tallevast.

The reporter did contact Headline Surfer last week and asked whether Gifford was told by then-SVAA board Chairman Palmer Wilson to work out the contract details with Headline Surfer. Headline Surfer made it abundantly clear that the terms of the contract were produced exclusively by Headline Surfer, despite what the News-Journal had previously reported. Gifford helped Headline Surfer double check its analytics to ensure everything was accurate. Even so, no such correction has been published.

Headline Surfer was never given an opportunity to refute the claims made in this latest News-Journal story.

Headline Surfer brought the factual errors in this story to the attention of Daytona Beach News-Journal Editor Pat Rice early Monday in a voice mail message. To date, several gross factual errors in the three previous News-Journal story brought to the attention of the reporterby Headline Surfer have not been corrected by the reporter, JCassady, who said he stands behind the stories.

Besides Gifford, who told Headline Surfer her quotes were taken out of context when she was contacted more than a week ago, the News-Journal claimed Palmer Wilson "did not returns calls seeking comment for this story."

But Wilson told Headline Surfer Monday night in a brief phone interview that he had not received any calls to his home from the News-Journal. He was removed not only as chairman but as a board member altogether, in a split vote spearheaded on Aug. 8 by County Councilman Joshua Wagner who said he had no faith in Wilson's leadership in the wake of two consecutive stories by the News-Journal.

Wagner, however, made it clear from the dais he believed Headline Surfer's interest in seeking the contract was genuine and above board.

Henry Frederick Picture

Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.