Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Another "Who Cares?" Column

DeSoto County residents, taxpayers and newspaper subscribers can all live better today because their local news editor “survived” her “first high school reunion.”

Readers and residents concerned about the effectiveness of the county commission under its new administrator read not about the schools, local economy, assessments, taxes, or crumbling county roads and weedy drainage ditches, but about the editor’s pre-party pimple eruption – “a zit” that in the alleged words of the editor’s quoted-but-unnamed best friend, appeared “just like high school.” And, lest readers think geography might provide the local connection – perhaps a high school somewhere in the paper’s circulation area – the unnamed reunion assembled in St. Petersburg.

DeSoto County residents, taxpayers and newspaper subscribers learn the editor found everyone at the reunion “so much nicer than expected,” and she had “unexpectedly deep conversations with unexpected people.” (Old Word Wolf asks who, exactly, was “unexpected” at the reunion – Michelle Obama?)

The reunion taught the editor “how many people actually knew of Arcadia and where it was.” (Was? Not still is?) The editor reports to residents, taxpayers and her subscribers that her “best conversations” at the reunion happened with the dates and spouses of former classmates except “the aloof, beautiful girl from the Ukraine who met her date online and made no attempt to conceal her boredom.” (The “girl” is unnamed and unattributed, exemplifying local journalism standards. The “girl” is old enough to go as a date to a 10-year class reunion but not old enough to be classified as a woman. )

There’s 20 inches more. But in the end, residents, taxpayers and newspaper subscribers all are better citizens because they know the editor’s high school chums all “have so much better taste in hairstyles and clothing now.”

Dear Sun Publisher: Could we get a columnist/editor out here who is willing to interview someone besides herself and her best friend? Your readers and subscribers want thoughtful opinions posed by well-informed reporters and editors who care about local government, schools, and the quality of life for folks who aren’t necessarily all white, middle-class “girls” enjoying a “dream job” that includes a hospital plan and air conditioning.

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