The new, improved (and packed with more fiber) News-Leader has its good points. The expanded editorial and opinion section is appreciated. And now that the makeover is a week old, it seems likely that Don Wyatt's wispy columns have finally ended.
A solid week of Wyatt's typing ("Good morning. Welcome to your new News-Leader ... Good morning. Welcome to the second day of the new News-Leader ... Good morning. Welcome to the third day of the new News-Leader." Rinse, lather, repeat) culminated in a Sunday front-page cut-and-paste column from the editor. Meanwhile, someone was shot dead outside a downtown Springfield nightclub -- you know, real news.
Front page? Not in Wyatt's World.
The paper's Sunday coverage of a Friday night slaying outside Traffic, a downtown nightclub, is worse than pitiful. The five-paragraph report is a brief on 2A. No refer from 1A. No quotes. No color. It gets less space than a report on the arrest of an armed-robbery suspect.
Springfield averages around six homicides a year, compared to more than 200 annual robberies. Because homicide is such a relatively rare crime, it belongs on the front page.
We're not alone in that opinion. Our Saturday post about the shooting has drawn comments from others who wonder what happened to the paper's news judgment.
And another thing: While we're critiquing the local paper, we draw your attention to the briefs column on the Nation/World section front (11A). The first two briefs report on a newborn recovering from a tumor removal, and a woman surviving two days inside a partially submerged SUV. Nice little briefs. Too bad they're missing datelines, or any other indicator of the Where.
Welcome to your new News-Leader.