Remove gay column from '7'
Comment: Re: The gay column in "7." I'd like to share my belief that homosexuals deserve to be loved, NOT PROMOTED. Please consider removing this column from The Spokesman-Review. -- Laurie Johnson, Spokane
Answer: Every segment of our community deserves to see itself reflected in the pages of the community's newspaper. Our newsroom mantra is "we reflect the lives of our communities in all of their wholeness and complexity every day."
Gays and lesbians are citizens of our community. They have as much right to coverage and presence as any other group of citizens. Coverage does not constitute promotion. But aside from that red herring, do you want newspaper editors deciding who is righteous enough, correct enough, moral enough to belong in the paper?
If the determination is to be Biblically based moral determination, then what do we do about the Jewish, Buddhist and Islamic communities? We received calls not too long ago from people who felt we should not be writing stories that reflected positively on Mormons because they're "not true Christians." Do we run stories about Mormons only when they've done something wrong? And do keep in mind, we still get calls and letters from racists in our communities who are offended whenver we profile people of color or run pictures of inter-racial couples.
This is a dangerous and slippery slope and one this newspaper's editors will avoid. My best advice...if the gay and lesbian oriented column in 7 offends you, then don't read it. -- Steve Smith, editor
Why bury the sarin story?
Question: Why was the story (scroll to the bottom of the page) on the confirmation of the sarin gas found in an artillery shell in Iraq relegated to Page 8? -- Webster Russell
Answer: There are actually several reasons why the sarin gas story was placed on Page 8. For starters, the story reported that tests confirmed what had been previously widely reported, i.e., the presence of sarin was discovered in a roadside bomb discovered in Baghdad.
As our story noted, no one was injured in the shellís initial detonation, a fact that diminished the immediate impact and significance of the discovery. As you could tell from the story we published, a number of questions remain about the source of the sarin, who has it, and whether they even know what they actually had in their possession. In our view, those uncertainties made this story less important on what was a pretty busy news day.
We had three stories on the front page that day that related to Iraq and the war on terrorism. The main story that day quoted U.S. officials who warned of a new terrorist attack on the U.S. The sarin story was packaged as sidebar to that main story, placed on the "jump" page of that story. A second prominent story that day reported on the U.S. and British discussions over the transition period in Iraq. A third story and photo focused on Idaho National Guard soldiers and their families as they prepared for eventual assignment to Iraq. Simply put, we seldom put more than two or three stories on the same topic on the front page because our readers expect and demand a wider range of topics in a general interest newspaper. -- Gary Graham, managing editor
Opinion rather than news
Question: At the risk of beating a dead horse to death, I have noticed a good many of your readers are asking a sincere question about the extensive left leaning of the press. This in my opinion does not involve the Spokesman-Review rather television news, namely ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and CNN to be very blunt about it. Their agenda is to replace the Republican dominance in our nation with Democrats. Their efforts are undisguised but in trying to discredit our President they don't spare the horses on appearing anti-Republican, anti-America and anti-God.
I believe the Constitution covers freedom of the press which leaves it with no strings attached as it should be but we are experiencing an abuse of power like never before. I always figured they are there to report the news. Today it is almost like they are saying "If you don't like it, lump it" and consequently it turns out to be opinion rather then news.
They suppress the news on a daily basis. When is the last time we heard one derogatory report on Kerry? It just doesn't happen yet President Bush is brought to task many times in each broadcast. This may be an unfair question to ask you but someone a lot smarter than me must surely have an answer other than to just say turn off the TV. We are experiencing an abuse of The Constitution of the United States of America. -- Robert A. Clouse, Spokane
P.S. What in blazes is a blog?
Answer 1: I am not uncomfortable talking about newspapers and, in general, how the print medium reports and presents the news. I've lived in the newspaper world for more than 30 years. I'm on much less comfortable ground dealing with broadcast. I've never lived in that world. Further, because of the schedules we keep in the newspaper buisness, I almost never see network news and only occasionally get the chance to focus on the cable news channels. So I can't speak with any authority on how and why they do what they do.
I will say that the broadcast journalists I've met through the years are hard-working people of integrity who try to do the best they can to deliver news and informatrion in a medium that is quite unforgiving. It's hard to squeeze the world into an inflexible 30 minutes. The script for an entire 30-minute newscast would not fill a full newspaper page.
It's probably also worth noting that a good many people see the greatest threat to our constitution emanating from interest groups that would control the press, limit its watchdog function and force it to report events through the current administration's filter. Unquestioning politically correct reportage isn't journalism, it's propaganda. And that cuts both ways. -- Steve Smith, editor
Answer 2: The rather atrocious word "blog" is computer geek shorthand for Weblog, or an online journal. These journals come in many forms, from personal diaries, to political commentary, to compilations of news briefs, to explanatory columns like this one. They typically are written in short takes, in reverse chronological order (meaning the most recent post at the top), contain links to other Web sites, and are updated frequently. -- Ken Sands, managing editor of online and new media
Why so much local news on Page 1?
Question: We want to know why, for the past several days, the front page has been filled with mostly local news, i.e., one or two national/international spots and the rest local stories). We thought the Regional section was for local/regional stories.
We look to the front page for just a clue on what's happening on the international and national front. Since your change of placement of stories, we have to search through the first section to get the information that was formerly available at first glance.
After contacting one of your representatives we were told that "we're a local paper." Then we were told that the front page is for the top five or so stories that they were working on. Come on, "WSU stops accepting Applications", one of the top stories available?
If you're going to put local news where international news used to be, why stop there? Just think, you could do away with separate sections. There could be Regional, national, international and Sports all condensed into one section!
We have been subscribers for the past 25 years and will have to keep subscribing. You have the only game in town and we do like the paper. Hopefully the front page will resume having the news we're used to again. -- Dave Christiansen and Jane Kennedy, Elk, Wash.
Answer: Our main focus is on local and regional news. We cover news, sports, business and features in the Spokane and North Idaho area because thatís where our readers live, work and play. Our readership surveys consistently show us that readers rank local news as their No. 1 interest and they expect us to provide extensive local coverage.
Now, we also feel it is important to provide readers with a healthy amount of national and international stories. I would argue that we provide more national and international news than your letter acknowledges. We do in fact place many important national and international stories on the front page each and every day. We devote several news columns inside the first section each day to coverage of the national and international scene. Frankly, it has become increasingly more difficult for us to compete with all the sources for 24-hour coverage of national news on television or the Web.
We acknowledge that papers such as the New York Times and USA Today provide more national news than we do, but when is the last time you saw a story about Spokane, North Idaho or even Washington state in either one of those publications? Our local report is what distinguishes us from any other paper that is available in our circulation area. Our reporting is thorough, wide ranging and sophisticated. We donít ignore the major developments on the national or international front, but weíll always give local news the home field advantage when it comes to story selection, story placement and staff resources. -- Gary Graham, managing editor
Why do most photos show Palestinian suffering?
Question: Having recently returned from a business trip to Israel, I notice a distinct disconnect between the events there and your (and the news services') coverage. The killing of six Israeli soldiers in a bombing of a military personnel carrier was described in the Jerusalem Post with an emphasis on Hamas using civilian neighborhoods as the operations center and an accompanying photo showed the terrorists with remains of the soldiers and vehicle. In Spokane, we read about the Israeli army besieging a refugee camp with the emphasis and photo (real or staged?) of Palestinians treated for injuries in the raid.
In the past three weeks, I've observed that at least 75 percent of your photos from the region depict Palestinian civilians hurt by Israelis. The inciting cause related to terrorists using the camps to develop their campaign and "hiding behind the skirts of women and children" is raely addressed by the media. The Israeli military campaign to protect its citizenry and other Westerners is normal and never questioned if the country is France, England (remember the Falkland Islands and sheep) etc.
I strongly urge your editor(s) to visit the Middle East and see the situation first-hand rather than blindly harvesting slanted stories from others. I believe you'll feel more secure, as an American, in Israel vs. Egypt, Jordan etc. and begin to understand better the tenuous existence of Israelis. They live the 9/11 disaster every day.
If a visit is not possible, then peruse your feeds from the wire services to obtain a more balanced reporting. Ask yourself ' why is the Israeli military responding in the first place' and are the photos legitimate? -- Joseph Harari, Spokane
Answer: U.S. newspapers often are criticized for their coverage of the Middle East, particularly on stories and events involving Israel and the Palestinians. Most of the major newspapers, such as The New York Times, have their own correspondents in the Middle East and can provide unique coverage for their readers. Unfortunately, most newspapers, The Spokesman-Review included, are solely dependent on the Associated Press and the secondary news services for coverage of international news.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the most complex and contentious news stories on the international scene and itís difficult for papers like ours to consistently monitor and reflect the various issues and subtext of the ongoing developments.
As for your comments about our photo selection, you make a valid point about the photos we have published. Unfortunately, the decisions about which stories and photos to publish are often influenced by the number of victims involved or the unusual nature of the violence or protest. In the most recent instances that I am familiar with, the number of Palestinian deaths have far outnumbered those of the Israeli military.
We would like to be able to send our own staff members to Israel, but itís really not economically feasible. Our main mission each day is to provide the best local news report possible, so most of our resources are devoted to covering the Spokane area and North Idaho. We also strive to provide national and international coverage, but that news is secondary to our mission. -- Gary Graham, managing editor
Why so many pictures of Palestinians?
Question: I asked a couple other people because I didn't trust my own observation and they agreed that It certainly seems like your paper prints far more pictures of dead and injured Palestinians, than it does of Israelis. I'm not pro- or anti- anything, but it appears your paper would like its readers to be. -- Doris Gerhart, Spokane Valley
Answer: I haven't gone back to chart our use of pictures to determine body-count-by-ideology or ethnicity. If there is an imbalance, it's due to the nature and timing of news and not due to any particular bias on our part.
Terrorist activities tend to happen off the West Coast news cycle while Israeli responses tend to happen during the news cycle and closer to our actual deadliness. So stories and photos dealing with Israeli responses tend to be fresher and newsier and more timely than terrorist stories and photos that will be more than a day old when they appear in our paper. We have similar timing issues with Iraq.
Further, Israeli responses tend to be better covered because press coverage of military operations, while controled, is permitted. Press coverage of surprise terrorist attacks is going to be spottier.
But, in the end, the problems of the Middle East are too complicated to be boiled down to a debate over Page 1 body counts. -- Steve Smith, editor
Who writes headlines for wire stories?
Question: I am curious as to whether the editors sometimes revise wire submission headlines? Though my aging mind is hard-pressed to give you an example, there have been mornings when wire story headlines have been outrageously editorial. If too blatant, do review editors ever modify them? -- Terry Lamb, Sagle, Idaho
Answer: We write the headlines to all the content in our newspaper, even content provided by our wrie services and syndicates. Some services will offer suggested headlines or so-called "slug lines" that summarize a story. But on-the-page headlines are written by our copy editors as they piece the paper together at night in the same way you might piece together a jigsaw puzzle. If a headline is off the mark in some way, it's our responsibility. -- Steve Smith, editor
Need more valuable interaction
Question: I have had a chance to read the blogs at the SR Web site. And, quite frankly, the "Ask the Editor" stuff is not very interesting. I think most well-read people have a general idea of how a newspaper works, why it prints what it prints, and why it doesn't print some things. Most often, the people who write to that site are actually asking, why you did or didn't do this certain offensive thing. It is a more "how dare you" type interaction.
Quite frankly, this community doesn't need that kind of exposure. It is an open invitation for the uniformed and "logic-impared" members of the community to parade their ignorance in front of your readership. No one profits from this mess. Witness your letters to the editor section, which I have contributed to in the past. It is a very sad reflection on the community. Some type of screening, any type of screening, would be valuable. I think it gives some people the impression that the paper is trying to be "fair and balanced" by publishing those opinions. Of course that is false. If some type of screening or even solicitation of truly informed individuals was instituted...it would be valuable, instead of the circus it now is. -- S. Bergstrom, Spokane
Answer: Actually, I find some of the interaction on this blog to be relatively thoughtful.
But the more important issue raised by the writer is whether or not we should screen or limit comments to this blog and letters to the editor for intelligence and quality of thought. That's not a role I want.
Our letters columns are messy, noisy and confused -- and sometimes thoughtful, articulate and purposeful. But ideas I find ludicrous, comments I find silly or stupid will resonate with someone else who finds them valuable.
We really do provide a free marketplace of ideas on our letters page because we believe in the power of that marketplace, over time, to illuminate the issues of our day. The letters columns are not built to make us look fair and balanced. They are there to give people a voice and we do our best to give those voices freedom to be profound or silly, thoughtful or thoughtless. -- Steve Smith, editor
Reader wants 'even treatment'
Question: You haven't by any chance re-hired the headline writer intern who called the president of Gonzaga a nazi, have you? Past slantings have been outdone by the latest "Bush BOASTS of employment boom," when he was simply countering the constant criticism of an economy which by all past standards is doing great. This is one change this old codger isn't willing to accept blindly, even though I do have enough sense not to overspend my resources unlike your young target audience. Even treatment would have had your article on Kerry and the convention flap reading something like "Kerry says silliness of law won't stop him".
And how long before the political left leaning "Non Sequitor" gets put where it belongs, in the classifieds along with Trudeau? As to the new edgy "7," it proves my point when even the cooking column had to include a slam against the President of the United States. Do you have even a token conservative on the staff? -- Ellie Comfort, Rathdrum, Idaho
Answer: ...And when did I stop beating my wife? I think this communication illustrates the futility in trying to second guess the delight some readers take in discerning bias in the most innocuous places.
There is nothing wrong with the Bush/jobs headline. It reflects the essence of the story. It is neither pro- nor anti- unless one is looking sideways through the bottom of a Coke bottle seeking bias.
Further, I remain puzzled why a handful of readers see the debut of "7" and the demise of Weekend as some sort of political statement. Young people have the right to find items of interest to them in our paper. Now, it's true those interests may include music, sex, relationships, movies, video games and inexpensive dining. Where's the politics in that? And let's not insult young people by suggesting that those are the only things they're interested in reading. We know from our research that we have a larger proportion of young readers than most newspapers and like everyone else, they begin their reading with Page 1 and the A section followed by local news.
Lastly, how in the world can Non Sequitor, which I find particularly stupid, be viewed as liberal or conservative? Press bias is a serious issue. But it really deserves serious discussion. -- Steve Smith, editor
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
Why are you missing these important stories?
Question: Here are a few issues I see seldom (or never) in The Spokesman-Review but which are, I believe, due more coverage (pro and con, although I think you've definitely given more coverage on the con side): 1. The UN Oil for Food scandal. Given that it involves several parties (UN, France, Russia, Germany, even journalists) that opposed our entry into Iraq, isn't it worth investigating potential conflicts of interest, particularly when those that opposed the war suggest the UN is the best option for stabilizing Iraq. I can't help but believe that if the scandal involved, say, Bush administration officials who might have accepted money to advance the war effort, the SR would be giving it continuous front page treatment. 2. The remarks by a captured al-Quaeda official that our response in Afghanistan prevented already planned attacks on other American cities such as Chicago and Los Angeles. 3. Links between terrorists and Saddam.
4. WMDs. Why nothing about how Sudan is ordering Syria to remove chemical weapons from Sudan, weapons which are believed to be in excess of what Syria could have produced on their own? Why didn't the recent statement by the Canadian prime minister (that he believes Iraq had WMDs and dispersed them prior to and during our invasion of Iraq) make the front page?
All of these are widely covered by various blogs. Yes, blogs can be quite opinionated, but I find it odd when I see things widely blogged (or even on more 'respected' pages such as the Wall Street Journal
Online) that don't even merit a mention in the SR. Failure to cover these issues only damages the credibility of the SR, given that this information is widely available elsewhere. -- Roger Benedict
Answer: We hear from readers from time to time about specific national and international stories that they are interested in reading about. We receive literally hundreds of stories each day from the Associated Press and other news services, so the choices we make regarding which stories to publish are often quite difficult.
Most of our resources and news space are devoted to news and information about the Spokane region and North Idaho, so we are quite limited in the amount of space given to international news. Our editors review many of the international stories each day and try to select the most important ones for publication. The ongoing story in Iraq is so multi-faceted and fluid that we have a huge challenge each day in trying to determine the most significant developments. Regrettably, stories that you mention, such as the oil for food scandal, the developments in the Sudan and the Canadian prime ministerís comments, are often overshadowed by the more dramatic developments and conflicts in Iraq.
Tad Brooks, an assistant news editor who regularly monitors the national and foreign news, shares your frustration in not being able to provide readers a wider variety of important stories. He reviewed our archives and found that our most recent story on the oil for food issue appeared in the March 31 newspaper. He also said we carried a story a couple of months ago about how the U.S. response in Afghanistan thwarted already planned attacks in cities such as Chicago and Los Angeles. As for Sudan ordering Syria to remove chemical weapons from Sudan, Brooks said he was unaware of that story.
We will continue to monitor world events and weíll look for ways to publish stories about the important developments you mentioned. Brooks also suggests that you can augment your reading of The Spokesman-Review by visiting our Web site, which has links to the comprehensive Associated Press daily report.
We understand that readers wonít always agree with the decisions we make on which stories to publish. Our first mission is to cover local news. At the same time, we do know readers expect us to provide them an intelligent selection of the most important stories of the day from around the world. -- Gary Graham, managing editor
What about that fatal accident?
Question: I have a question about the fatal accident that occurred April 30 at the corner of Hartson and Thor in Spokane. I am from Boise, but was visiting my brother and his family in Spokane on the night of the accident. We assisted at the accident scene and would like to have some additional information about the accident, i.e., victim's name, age, cause of accident, etc., to provide us with some closure for this traumatic event. Why has there been so little published or broadcast about that accident, even though there was a fatality? -- Cathy Venosdel, Boise
Answer: We ran a story about the accident on May 1, but it appears - regrettably - that we did not write a follow-up story. While we try to update most major accidents that we hear about, it isn't always possible. Unfortunately, in this case it was a fatality and should have warranted a second story. There is no good reason for the decision, except to say that we constantly balance our resources (reporters, time and space for news) with news events in the community. Occasionally, but not often, the news gets ahead of our resources. -- Carla Savalli, city editor
Where's the Idaho news?
Question: It has long been a frustration of mine that the "Handle" section carries much too much of what is not "Handle" news. I have even fired off e-mails to Oliveria over this pointing out instances when 3 of the 5 articles on the page were anything but North Idaho in origin or content. Who makes the decisions about what appears on this page and how do we get more of what the page purports to be covering? -- Jacques Lemieux, Kellogg
Answer: One of our goals each day is to provide Idaho readers with as much local Idaho news and regional news of Idaho interest as we possibly can given our resources. Our Idaho reporting staff has been reduced in size in recent years, mostly because economic conditions in the region have forced us to tighten our belts.
Susan Drumheller, the editor in charge of our Idaho bureau, explains: ďOur approach out here has been to focus on the news of importance to our core readership in Kootenai County, and on those stories of general interest to all our readers. We have organized our beat coverage around government, education and public safety/crime stories in Kootenai County, statewide coverage by our Boise reporter, and local and regional natural resource issues, as well as regular human interest features.Ē
Drumheller and her staff work hard to provide at least one Idaho/North Idaho story on the front page each day, and all local Idaho stories on the front page of the Handle section. As you noted, we are not always able to provide an all-Idaho report on the Handle, but we still provide a healthy report of Idaho news each day. I would also say that the volume of stories is often not as important as the quality of the stories. I would strongly argue that the quality our writing, the detail and depth in our reporting and the compelling images we capture in our photography far surpass that of any of our competitors. -- Gary Graham, managing editor
Why was Spokane reference missing?
Question: A story appearing May 2 on sex offender Laura Faye McCollum omitted three paragraphs that were in The Seattle Times version of the story. The missing information included this:
"But years of therapy have changed her, she said, gazing at her beloved beta fish, Perry. She has nearly finished her GED and has earned a janitorial certificate. She hopes to move to Spokane, get a pet pug, and get a job cleaning office buildings at night, where she has little chance of running into children."
It seems to me that McCollum's plans to move to Spokane are critical information for Spokane readers. What happened? -- Cindy Fine, Spokane
Answer: I wish I could say it was a judicious trim of the story because of higher journalistic standards. But I can't say that. It was a bad bite. There were other paragraphs that could have been removed to get that information in. You're right. That information is very relevant to our readers.
I have but one excuse: the copy editors had just been through two weeks of computer training that required almost all of them to work six days a week and many of them up to 12 hours a day. That left us short-handed and tired, not a good combination. But we're through with training and hopefully we'll be in better shape to avoid these kinds of errors. -- Jim Kresse, news editor
Negativism of journalism?
Question: In the May 2 Parade in the "Ask Marilyn" section, she noted the results of her unofficial survey: what infuriates us most. Marilyn indicated that half of the 7,000 readers replies said that "society today" was the cause of their infuriation "noting their disgust with what they see and hear." My question is: what, if anything, does the S-R plan to do about this? The negativism of journalism is talked about a lot. It appears that the media slant on things DOES have an giant inpact on people. What do you see as your responsibility? -- Barb Shaw
Answer: Our responsibility is to reflect the life of our communities every day in all of their wholeness and complexity. Some of what we report is positive and uplifting. Some of it is not. We strive for a balance, always aware that our journalism does have an impact on how people view their community. That's our responsibility. But in this "chicken or the egg" argument, I don't accept the notion that the media are responsible for the "negativism" of our lives. In reflecting community life, we reflect all of the psychosis, paranoia, dysfunction, negativity and unrest that permeates our society. (We also reflect the courage, selflessness, civic spirit and can-do positiveness that exists in balance with the negative.)
There are numerous sources for the state of our communal psychology, and the media, to the extent that term has any meaning, is only one of many.
I don't view media as a monolithic entity. The Spokesman-Review is as different from The Seattle Times as Spokane is different from Seattle. Different newspapers and newspaper editors will make vastly different editorial decisions given the same set of facts on the same day. The wide range of voices, attitudes, frames and ideas makes it impossible for newspapers, as one component of the media, to drive public psychology on any sort of far-reaching basis. Now, I can't speak for the influence of broadcast, that's not my field. And if you choose to include entertainment media in any definition of the larger media, then I'm truly out of my depth.
Last point...I'm not sure I'd take the Parade survey too seriously. It's not based on a statistically balanced sample and respondents will be skewed heavily to the oldest newspaper readers who also happen to be the largest group of Parade readers. A true statistically balanced study might produce similar results, but there also are a number of recent studies that indicate Americans are somewhat more optimistic about their lives today than we were in years past, war nothwithstanding. -- Steve Smith, editor
What about Bonner County news?
Question: Why is it that Bonner County records are never put in the Handle, the marriage, fines and lawsuit records? A couple of weeks ago you ran an article about all the sheriff canidates, but Bonner County was left out entirely, was there a reason for that? We feel that we are out in left field all the time. -- Kathy Mitchell, Priest River
Answer: Bonner County records used to be part of our regular content up until about two years ago when our Sandpoint bureau was closed, and the news assistant who gathered those records was laid off. Boundary County's public information officer sends us copies of sentencings from that county, and we also have sentencings faxed to us from Shoshone County. Currently, we have no staff in Sandpoint able to provide those records to us, and they are too unwieldy for anyone in the Bonner County Clerk's office to send to us.
As for the sheriff story, we did run a story on April 12 about the candidates running for sheriff in Boundary County. On April 20 and 21, we ran stories on the candidates running for Bonner County commissioner. On Sunday, May 2, we ran a story about the many candidates running for Bonner County Sheriff. So Bonner County is not being ignored. However, without a Sandpoint bureau it is more challenging to stay on top of all the news emanating from that county. -- Susan Drumheller, Idaho Editor