Sunday, April 29, 2007

BURYING A DEAD BODY

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.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

My initial reaction to the event: "Great news story." Uh, guess not.

Anonymous said...

The NewsLeader gurus can't be that stupid, can't they? They can't have looked at the story and decided it had little news value, right?

So, why did they make so little of it?

Theory One: They have no reporters working on the weekend. So even with 24 hours to develop a story, they had no one to do it.

Theory Two: They are in cahoots with those who don't want to upset the downtown economic applecart by publicizing bad things that happen there.

Theory Three: They really are that stupid.

Anonymous said...

Ah, now we know what it takes for a shooting in a retail district to make the front page of the News-Leader!

It has to happen some place other than Springfield. Like Kansas City, for instance.

See the front page of Monday's edition to see what I mean. Then check inside to see the tiny "brief" about Springfield's downtown shooting.

Or to build on one of the suggestions by ANON 9:04, because the News-Leader has no reporters (or none with any real journalistic skills) working on the weekends, they can't come up with a big enough story to make the front page unless the story is handed to them by the Associated Press.

The News-Leader is a sad sad sad excuse for a local newspaper!

Anonymous said...

2000 people at the KSGF Welcome Home the Troops Rally. Love VDJ or not 2000 people out to any event is a story and one for the most part the News Leader missed.

Anonymous said...

What is VDJ?

Anonymous said...

VD(j) is the scientific term for a venereal disease carried by a man with a small johnson. Or, a mouth on radio.

RON DAVIS said...

Anon 1255: Vincent David Jericho is a morning-show host on KSGF, an AM-FM combo in Springfield.

Anonymous said...

The New News-Leader blows. It's is less filling, and my bird says it doesn't taste that great either.