Local events are important

Question: Thanks for clarifying why the new "7" has come into being. I get outraged when I see all the attention the young generation receives because they spend the most money, but understand the economics of your position. One thing I don't understand in your newspaper is how little coverage local events get on the front page. I would have thought that torrential downpour on parts of our city yesterday would have been newsworthy, and don't understand why things are put in the Valley section, when they pertain to the whole city. I believe local people like to see important local events on the front page. This is our city and it is important to all of us. Please let us see it is important to you, too. -- Meredith Elsensohn

Answer: Thanks for your note.

Interestingly, we took two phone calls from readers this morning complaining about too much local news on Page 1. That highlights the challenge all mass medium news institutions confront. Our mass audience brings a wide range of expectations to the paper every day. Some think Page 1 should be all national and international news. Others see us as a strictly local newspaper. We strive for a balance. At our daily news mweetings, we actively look for strong local stories for all of our main news fronts.

The war in Iraq has skewed things, of course. Our balance of local to national has really tipped to the latter since last year.

The downpour yesterday was not news for us in and of itself. If there had been significant damage, flooding resulting in auto accidents, etc., it might have been bigger news.

One thing to keep in mind...We generally run five or six stories, tops, on Page 1. Obviously, on a busy news day, that won't begin to scratch the surface on important stories. Our local news fronts -- Region, Valley and Handle -- are also main news pages and stories placed there are important and well-read. -- Steve Smith, editor

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