And here’s a later City Wire story that’s much better than the Times Record’s output. Check the tone of the lede, for one:

A gray, overcast and rainy Thursday (Oct. 27) seemed made-to-order on a day when it was confirmed that Whirlpool Corp. would cease operations at its Fort Smith refrigerator manufacturing plant.

The closure, expected by mid-2012, will mark the end more than 45 years of Whirlpool operations in Fort Smith.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette even found a union leader and dispirited employees to talk to, and put in this quote on the broader economic impact from the director of the University of Arkansas’s business-school:

“It’s obviously devastating to lose that many jobs, and from a core industry,” she said, noting that large employers such as Whirlpool develop clusters of related suppliers.

“You have the center of the cluster being pulled out,” Deck said. “The ripple effect goes through all those industries.”

The Times Record ought to take a cue from these guys and quit relying on flack-driven storylines.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.