First, some good news. We are again publishing stories, columns and photos from The New York Times.
We dropped our subscription to the Times wire service three years ago as the recession forced us to make difficult choices between national and international coverage and locally produced stories. We spend tens of thousands of dollars each year on the big services – New York Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg and The Associated Press – and trimmed them back in 2009 rather than lose more TNT reporters.
We also dropped The Washington Post service for a year, but brought it back in late 2010.
Clearly, our emphasis is on local news written by our own reporters, in large part because they write stories our readers can’t find anywhere else. (Much of the Pierce County news on Seattle TV and radio stations is a rehash of our stories.)
Local stories take up more space in our paper and get more prominent placement.
But we know readers want news from beyond the borders of our county, our state and our nation. They expect to get their print news all in one package and depend on us to help them keep up with national and international news.
Each afternoon, our wire editor reads through hundreds of stories from the organizations above, plus our own McClatchy news bureaus in Washington, D.C., Afghanistan and elsewhere. He or she is looking for stories that reflect the news of the day, provide context or are just plain interesting.
The wire editor pitches stories for front page consideration at every afternoon news meeting, although many days local stories win out.
The New York Times frequently breaks important stories ahead of the others, and we’re again in a position to bring them to TNT readers.
Our editorial page also will expand its stable of columnists to once again include Times big hitters Tom Friedman, David Brooks and Paul Krugman. While you might not always agree with their politics, they are some of the most thought-provoking columnists in the business, and we’re glad they’re back.
POOR HEADLINE JUXTAPOSITION
We heard from a number of you last week about the headlines at the top of the Thursday paper.
The lead headline read: “Gay marriage votes lining up in Olympia.” Alongside that story and under the same headline, we ran a teaser to a story inside about lawmakers trying to prevent people accused of child pornography from viewing evidence in their jail cells. The headline on that story was: “Child porn as evidence.”
We saw it as packaging together two legislative stories of the day, something we frequently do. Some readers saw it as packaging together two sexual stories of the day.
One reader wrote to me: “The layout suggested that there was a link between gay marriage (or people) and child porn. Or maybe it was a deliberate ‘statement.’”
We intended no such link and certainly no statement.
The problem, obviously, was the poor juxtaposition of the two headlines. We are redoubling our efforts to avoid having that happen again.
Karen Peterson: 253-597-8434