Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Nose for News Award Still Up for Grabs

Yesterday's headline: City to swear in council members
Today's headline: Council members take oath

The process is rarely the news. It's a corollary of the law that news is not what's expected or predicted. Democracy in action -- particularly when the action proceeds in complete accord with Robert's Rules of Order -- does not warrant a headline or lead. Both the reporter and the headline writer are out of the running for that most coveted award, the golden Nose for News. There's a lot of this type of misguided reporting in the local gazette. A reporter sits through a long meeting, mini-tape recorder running, pen scratching, and all the news we get is couched in the exciting detail: "After tabling the motion, the council moved to bring up the next item on the agenda.”

All Those Imperatives

Local front headline: Meet DeSoto's new assistant public defender
Back page headline: Meet DeSoto High's administration

The imperative bark is a poor way to invite readers into a story. Barking twice in the same paper is just plain annoying. Invite us in by writing something notable about the contents.

Don't "click for more," because that's it for today.

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