Saturday, May 05, 2007

please don't tell me the news

a funny thing is happening these days: newspapers in general are losing circulation. That is, large national ones that cover the important news of the day, like Bush's signing statements, "extraordinary rendition," CIA "black sites," the Pat Tilman/Jessica Lynch fabrication, etc.

But local papers, especially the ones that focus on local news, are actually going up. Please like to hear about local sports, deaths, marriages, events, etc. When the world seems to be spiraling down the drain, maybe the local stories are easier to focus on. Moreover it is particularly easier for the papers to do as well, not because it isn't easier to put in wire stories that they didn't write, but because it is their solemn duty.
"I'm so frustrated with seeing local stories on the front page! Particularly 'special interest' ones that could be printed anytime (i.e. international adoptions). They don't belong there, they really don't, and every editor in the world knows that. Local news shouldn't be on the front page unless the news is so huge, it is of national importance."
Almost all those medium-circulation dailies (we are one) put local news on the front page because readers buy local newspapers to get local news. People can get world and national news 24-7 now on broadcast TV and cable news networks. News that reflects what goes on in Utah, what trends are hot here, what's funny, what's unusual and what will cause tax bills to jump belongs on the front page so that readers can find the local news they want - whether they buy the paper from the rack or have it delivered to their homes.

So there, don't tell me how to do our jobs, silly people who pay my salary. Oh the arrogance never leaves the newspaper business.

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