I guarantee you that the routine beat reporting of that newspaper every day produces at least a half-dozen stories that would be less interesting to the community than a half-dozen or more stories they could have done about the community events that showed support for the Devlin family. The Devlins’ health struggles have been a community story, with Scouts and schools and workplaces rallying for support in a variety of ways that were as important as the meeting stories their newspaper was covering and more interesting.
Buttry is referring to the death of his 16-year-old nephew, Patrick Devlin, which was never covered by the newspaper covering his metro area, except for an obituary. Devlin had been working on an Eagle Scout project at the time of his death. His sister, also seriously ill, was sent on a trip by the Make-A-Wish foundation, all of which are stories that the community would have cared about.
FJP: Worth reading to consider what stories do and don’t matter to a community and how meaningful and efficient coverage can be achieved.
Twelve Egyptian newspapers Tuesday refused to publish and five TV stations have suspended their broadcasts in protest of the new Islamist-drawn constitution, as tens of thousands prepare for an anti-Mursi rally outside the presidential palace. The self-imposed media blackout comes one day after several Egyptian newspapers, including Al Watan and Al-Masry Al-Youm, carried a front page image showing the silhouette of a reporter in shackles behind bars under the headline: ‘A constitution that cancels rights and shackles freedoms. No to dictatorship.’
Background (via CNN):
Newspapers and television stations known for criticizing President Mohamed Morsy are falling silent Tuesday and Wednesday to protest the country’s new draft constitution and an edict the head of state issued nearly two weeks ago to expand his powers.
As Egyptians count down to a public referendum on the draft constitution to be held in less than two weeks, some newspapers disappeared from news stands Tuesday. Others printed the same protest picture of the press symbolically behind bars with the headline, “No to Dictatorship.”
Article 48 of the draft constitution ties media freedom to the framework of society and national security, which many Egyptian journalists see as vague terminology.
More: See here for a Q&A on what’s driving Egypt’s unrest.
A year ago today I walked out of the News & Record for the last time as editor. Twenty-seven years there, 13 of them as editor. It was a good run. But I wish I had been smarter. After a year as a civilian newspaper reader, I realize how often I worked on the wrong things.
John L. Robinson in Journalism, One Year Later. He reflects very honestly on what he could have done differently at the newspaper.
1. On Content
We spent time and precious resources on stories that didn’t matter much to most readers. We should have been writing stories that compelled people to read them. We didn’t do enough investigative pieces. We didn’t do enough good reads. We didn’t do enough of what readers valued.
2. On Digital Innovation:
We didn’t build an inviting, informative, smart community, which is dumb of us because newsrooms are places where smart, creative, fun people work.
3. On Listening:
Had we met with members of the community — readers and non-readers – to listen, learn and improve every other month, perhaps we wouldn’t be in as much trouble as we are.
A Politico headline: “GOP soul-searching: ‘Too old, too white, too male?’”
Around noon Wednesday, I started hearing a voice inside my election-addled head: Where else had I seen numbers like these? Where had I heard that Politico description? Who else was getting a really good market share of a smaller and smaller slice of the population?
Ah, yes: the newspaper industry.