Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Reader comment on our kayak series

FIVE days of FRONT page coverage of an "adventure" your staff members have??? PLUS an editorial telling us how great it is. Enough. What is next? An exclusive three parter on your editor's daughter's wedding? A four part series on the copy boy's hernia operation? If this is a preview of your "NEW" look, go back!!! By the way, when will you be covering MY summer vacation? Ridiculous!!
_ John Carroll

Mr. Carroll: I am sorry you are not enjoying the kayak series. It will conclude on Thursday. We believe that there are many in our readership who are interested in the topic and the adventure our reporter and photographer experienced. As a reader of The Tribune, you understand that we rarely tell first-person accounts. But we did so in this case because the topic is near and dear to many of our readers, who have consistently told us that the county coastline is one of the things they value most about living here.
P.S. A reporter-photographer team for the San Francisco Chronicle told that paper’s readers of a kayaking experience they undertook on the Northern California coastline, and in recent years a Fresno Bee team hiked the John Muir Trail in the Sierra and related that adventure. I wish our project was unique, but actually it is not.
_ Tad Weber


David said...

I'm happy to see The Tribune try to branch out and do some creative journalism.

But I'm also not surprised at the type of criticism this particular series has received. A five-part series is a lot of coverage for a basic chronological tour diary without any news angle or major issue being explored.

Your series lacks a strong theme or focus, and I think that is what is at the heart of Mr. Carroll's criticism.

Then there are those of us who feel that so many serious issues in our community receive so little in-depth coverage by comparison.

I had read the Fresno Bee series on the John Muir Trail that you mention. One major difference that stands out between the two series is that the Fresno Bee's included writing from a variety of participants in the trek, each with diverse backgrounds and varying experience with the outdoors (and some with a real knack for writing first-person travel accounts) that helped sustain interest over a multi-part series.

The Fresno Bee series was also a story about personalities. With a half-dozen or more reporters from the paper's various beats thrown into the outdoors, readers got a chance to get to know more about the styles and personalities (and foibles) of reporters they read everyday in a completely different context.

But with that said, I'm glad you gave this local kayak adventure a chance to sink or swim. And, yes, indeed it does float!

David Ciaffardini

Anonymous said...

I, too, quickly became frustrated at seeing the same non-news when I logged in to the Tribune website day after day.

I think that if you want the Tribune to be taken seriously as local journalism, and not yokel journalism, you need to put such special-interest pieces in a "Living" or "Lifestyle" setion, or even "Local." Certainly there are more important happenings in the world that deserve to receive front page attention.

Mrs. B
San Luis Obispo