Thursday, March 15, 2007

Jan 28 – Feb 4 (5)

Friday, February 02, 2007
Deputy accused of $100 theft: Front page news?
We had a lively discussion in our newsroom the past two days over the story about a chief deputy at the Sheriff’s Department being cited for allegedly walking out of a grocery store in Atascadero with more than $100 worth of groceries he did not pay for. Here is how the debate was framed: On the one hand, it was a story that would likely draw a lot of readers. Anytime a law officer may have done something wrong, it’s of interest to the public. On the other hand, the alleged crime was a misdemeanor (not a felony). The deputy himself called it an embarrassing mistake in our story published today.So, in the final analysis, we decided to play the news on our Local section front, not the front page of the paper.Do you think we made the right call? Let us know._ Tad Weber
Posted by Tad Weber at 10:43 AM 4 comments Links to this post
Thursday, February 01, 2007

Is global warming harming polar bears?
One person wrote today thanking us for Wednesday’s commentary discussion on polar bars that asked whether global warming is driving them to extinction. The pieces were excellent, she raved. “You clearly illustrated that there are two ways to look an issue and despite the fact the writers are polar (couldn't resist saying that) to one another, they demonstrate how issues can be clouded. One is clearly opinion based on partial evidence serving a political punch. The other has academic attribution with scientific studies and statistics that apply. …”Another person called to criticize the pro-con. “Get two sides with people who are credible! It appears you missed that target big time!”We offered both commentaries to shed light on this important issue. While ideally both writers would have supported their conclusions with scientific studies, those weren’t available through our wire service. And we lack the time to put our own staff on this debate because they’re focusing on local issues. Let me know what you think!-- Sandy Duerr
Posted by Tad Weber at 11:06 AM 0 comments Links to this post
Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Our reporter in Washington, D.C.
One of the big benefits to being part of the McClatchy Co. is its Washington, D.C. bureau. Case in point: Today's story on and on the front page of The Tribune about global warming. We now have a reporter in the Washington office working part-time for us _ David Whitney. We've shared with him how important environmental news is to our residents. As a result, we now get firsthand coverage of events like the opening hearing of the Senate environment committee on the topic of global warming. It helps that it is chaired by Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, too. Having David report for us from the nation's capital extends our reach and benefits our readers.While on the issue of global warming, be sure to see our Opinion section today. It offers to opposing views on the issue, framed around how polar bears are struggling to survive. We'd love to know what you think, so reply to this posting or send us a letter to the editor. That's easy to do -- simply e-mail your letter to Keep them to 200 words or less, please!_ Tad Weber
Posted by Tad Weber at 9:16 AM 0 comments Links to this post
Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Why won't you run Amy Goodman?
Mark Phillips has written us asking why we don’t publish Amy Goodman in our lineup of syndicated columnists in The Tribune. In case others are wondering about Goodman (or someone else), here’s why:It boils down to a question of how we spend limited resources. We have a lot of competing interests, and we have a sufficient variety of viewpoints without spending more money on non-local columnists. As I’ve noted in the past, we’ll continue to review our lineup of syndicated columnists in the months ahead. But since we just made some changes, we don’t envision making any others right now.-- Sandy Duerr
Posted by Sandy Duerr at 9:02 AM 0 comments Links to this post
Monday, January 29, 2007

Know your local history?
One of the best things a local newspaper can do is connect its readers with area history. Features writer Sarah Linn did that very nicely in Sunday's edition with her story on landmarks that we all encounter every day, and yet may not know much about, such as the Odd Fellows building in the Village of Arroyo Grande. If you have not yet read the story, you can find it on our home page at under Central Coast Living. There is even a slide show of photos to see.I welcome your ideas of other hidden landmarks we should write about. Reply to this blog to let us know, or e-mail Sarah at Tad Weber
Posted by Tad Weber at 9:50 AM 0 comments Links to this post
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