Sunday, November 18, 2007

It's Not a Lot of News, But It's All We've Got

Don’t bury the lead.

Today’s Big Story, splashed across the local front this sunny Sunday morning, is Arcadia's city council voted two weeks ago to annex 5.8 acres along the city’s southwest boundary so an affordable-housing project won’t have to straddle the border.

Sadly, everyone who cares read the story, first reported by the DeSoto News Editor, back on Nov. 7. Surely a news editor, by definition a skilled and seasoned journalist, noticed the only news in today’s story is that the annexation ordinance’s second reading will be aired at next Tuesday’s city council meeting. Surely an editor would care that this timely information is interred on page 14, after the jump, in the story’s eighth paragraph, third from the end.

Dear Editor: Don’t bury the lead. Every reader who slogged through this front-page news left the page saying not, “Wow, let’s find page 14,” but “didn’t I already read this, way back when?” A meeting announcement and the second reading of a non-controversial ordinance aren’t a lot of news, but they’re all this story has to offer. Do readers a favor; put the news in the lead. It’s journalism.

No comments:

Post a Comment