Sunday, November 30, 2008

I Read the News Today, Oh Boy (Part 2)

Today's front page headlines in The Washington Post -

"Players Gamble on Honesty, Security of Internet Betting"
"Ruthless Attackers, Desperate Victims"
"U.S. 'Not Getting What We Pay For"
"Joint Chiefs Chairman 'Very Positive' After Meeting With Obama"
and finally -
"Acorn Watchers Wonder What Happened to Crop"


So in addition to the fact that a story about internet gambling (which is very well written) gets full on, above-the-fold priority and at least twice as much page length as an article full of first person accounts of being held hostage at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai - the acorn watchers are front page news? I'm not saying it's not interesting, or a human interest story (or really a squirrel interest story) but skimming over the article the points that keep being presented are "We don't know why, and really, not a big deal." The two actual points of fact - less acorns this year, squirrels feeling the shortage. Well, aren't we all?

Other articles that didn't make the front page:
- A profile on Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal who some are already calling 'The Republican Obama.' (Given his position being anti-abortion without exception, anti stem-cell research, and pro limited creationism being taught in public schools, lets really hope not.)
- An article on how Japan's population has shrunk for 27 consecutive years and that soon crime commited by those over the age of 65 will outnumber all other age brackets.
- The increasing risk of all out war between Pakistan and India should India move on it's accusations of Pakistani influence and involvement in the Mumbai attacks.

But hey, there's a really cute picture of a squirrel, that's gotta count for something.

Who was asleep at that wheel?


Adam Z. Winer said...
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Adam Z. Winer said...

It's called the Wall Street Journal. If you don't like feature stories, stop reading the Washington Post.

Sunday is the day most newspapers do features, because it's when people have the most time to read, traditionally. Same reason you got a feature on gambling and Jindal.

Also, because of decreasing profits, newspapers like the WaPo have had to do make a priority on local news as opposed to national or international. If you want to be all high and mighty and rant about how people should read newspapers more, fine, but don't blame the newspapers for cutting corners.

For more international news, go to national or international sources - of which the Washington Post is no longer one. also, check what edition you have... the MD edition is often different than the DC edition or NY edition and so on.

Why do I care? Because I hear ALL THE TIME about people who think they know what other people really want to read, and it's always easy to sit back and criticize.

On that note, I'm going to go back to reviewing High School Musical on my other blog. :P

Jason Heat said...

See, I have no problem with a feature - I do have to wonder why a piece with no actual information makes the front page. When the info in the artice is "we don't know, and it doesn't matter" why should I care? It's the same as the Diamondback doing the Chicken Sandwich story on a larger scale.

And as a paying customer, I have every right to comment on the choices made. I spend my money on the paper and I'm allowed to decide when I think something is great or less than stellar. And in general that kind of commentary is pretty useful. I love the Post, and this rant was more an amusing diversion, but given that I am the actual readership of the paper maybe its a bit important my view is heard, even if I'm only one. Cause I sure stopped reading the Diamondback.

Your response of "don't read the post" is pretty much EXACTLY the opposite of what they want.