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Opening Arguments

Big news buried

How many foreigners does it take to equal 1,000 Americans? I ask after noticing that today's Journal Gazette put the story of the Asian earthquake on Page 2. America's Gulf Coast hurricane was Page 1 news -- for all of us -- for weeks. I thought maybe I was being too hard on the JG, picking on a competitor, so I checked a number of today's front pages, and the vast majority had something besides a tease on Page 1. Of course, most of them had numbers that had already been surpassed by the time the papers came out, which is a weakness of print journalism made apparent whenever there's a big, developing story (Saturday's News-Sentinel said "hundreds" had been killed, which made the story totally pointless). The best we can do is provide background, perspective and analysis; we can't hope to keep up with the breaking news. Still, we ought to keep trying to put the biggest stuff on Page 1.

(Yes, I know this will allow an opportunity for all those people out there who can cite lots of lapses in news judgment by The N-S. Have at it.)

Posted in: Current Affairs