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.