Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Why the AP feature story on our front page today?

Our front-page today features a story from Pennsylvania about some Amish people with a rare liver disease. Because the story is not local, it has drawn some questions from readers:

"An AP story feature leads the front page and most of the words in section 1. Remind me why I subscribe to print papers again? If I want random AP stories, it's easier to get those elswehere, and more of them, for free. Maybe the Trib should include a note of explanation when they do this that all the LOCAL reporters were at a staff retreat, training, sick, or vacation and thus couldn't submit a news story today."
_ Still a Subscriber

"While I understand and can relate to the story, why is news from East Earl, PA front page news in SLO CA?"
_ Sue

"Front page is the perfect spot. It is a story about a parent's love for their children. ..."
_ AC

It is a fair question for our subscribers to ask why we put that story on our front page. The posting by AC helps answer in part -- it is a compelling human drama. From time to time Associated Press will move a story or series that has a dramatic subject and strong writing. We felt the "Blue Light" story met that test.
It is the exception for us to publish a Page 1 centerpiece that is not local. And when that does occur, we make sure to have other local stories on the page. Today, for example, the three other stories on A1 are all local and written by our staff. Our plans for the coming week call for staff-written centerpieces to anchor page 1.
We know our readers are keenly interested in local news. We strive to provide that coverage day in and out, and for the most part, I think we succeed. But we want to be open to publishing a really interesting story from anywhere. We think many, if not most, of our readers appreciate that, too.
I'd love to hear from you if you agree -- or disagree.
_ Tad Weber

No comments: