Sunday, December 28, 2008

Giant sucking sound (a slight return)

Quick, what do these fronts have in common? (Clockwise from upper left: Columbia, Cleveland, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando.) Or, put more accurately, what do they not have that they don't have in common?

If your answer was on the order of "a single freaking word about Saturday's striking escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," you may step forward and claim your prize (unless you are violently horking in the bathroom or busily using the new Erector set Santa brought you to elevate your jaw from the floor, both quite reasonable reactions). And once again, we can venture a generalization that if your newspaper couldn't be bothered to mention this development anywhere on its front page, your newspaper deeply, truly, actively, genuinely, deliberately, enthusiastically sucks.

You will note we aren't demanding that newspapers staff the Near East themselves these days (though the regional press had a long tradition of providing good overseas reporting through the simple expedient of sending good reporters overseas). Nor do we suggest that you lop a dozen columns off your sports section and hand 'em over to news of Faraway Places (this is an avowedly realist blog, but it tries to be a practical one as well). We aren't even saying you have to lead with the thing.
But it would be nice if you folks in the glass offices took your agenda-setting role a little more seriously. For at least a few more months of the foreseeable future, the front page of a big newspaper is going to be a stopping point: People can pick it up and have some rough idea of some of the bigger events of the past day that they ought to be thinking about. Think of it as a news aggregator that works even when the power goes down. Perhaps we might want to work a little harder at reminding readers that there's a world out there beyond college football and the musings of a stableful of local columnists,


Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

The local tv news last night chose to package this as "an enemy of Israel joins the protests", referring of course to Ahmadinejad. But hey - at least they mentioned it!

8:38 PM, December 28, 2008  
Blogger gcacho said...

It led our East Bay papers. Woo hoo

8:53 PM, December 29, 2008  
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2:34 AM, December 30, 2008  

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