Monday, December 3, 2007

Dear Associated Press Editors: Cats Aren't News

Please do not send any more cat stories to your wire subscribers. In particular, please do not send any more cat stories to the Charlotte Sun newspaper here in Port Charlotte, Fla.

I’m making this request because the kids down here who design the daily pages have a hard time figuring out that a cat story rarely, if ever, is news. This morning, your squib from Bartlett, Tenn., leads the National Briefs in four editions of the paper:

BARTLETT, Tenn – Tabitha Cain has fed a feral cat she calls Wild Oats for several years, but now she’s thinking of changing the feline’s name to Survivor. That’s because she says the cat survived for 19 days with a peanut butter jar stuck on its head.

"We tried to get her, but being the type of cat you can’t catch, she kept running and hiding,” said Doretha Cain, Tabitha’s mother.

The family saw the cat several times with the jar on its head and tried in vain to catch it. But after not seeing the cat for a week, the Cains feared the worst. They found the once-chubby cat on Wednesday, too thin and weak to flee. They caught her with a fishing net and used some oil to get the jar off her head.

As you can see, Charlotte Sun’s National Desk has a hard time recognizing that just because something happened outside of Florida, doesn’t mean it’s national news. And, just because an AP reporter was in the vicinity of the nice Cain family when they rescued the cat, doesn’t make it news, either.

However, if I am missing something here, please send me the name of your local stringer so I can call him/her when my very own Miss Kitty gets good and ready to get down out of the tree.

Old Word Wolf
P.S. Scroll down to October 29, 2007: If a Reporter is Present, It Must Be News

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