Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Editorial, get me rewrite…

As Charles Foster Kane once observed, "you just try everything you think of"

Painting themselves as being in a kind of a, damned if you do, damned if you don't position, the Daily News provided a second attempt to explain the new direction of news gathering for Prince Rupert.

Wendy Webb, provided the content on page four, outlining how having been editor of the Daily News for a week now has provided for no shortage of interaction with Rupertites showing a fair amount of interest in the changes as outlined last Thursday.

Her editorial provided some background on the six months of unrest in the community surrounding the tone and direction of the Daily paper. She outlines how the paper had been accused of “slighting respected citizens and providing a prejudiced and grim view of the community.”

Hence the perceptions in the office we gather that the paper had become too negative and the need for a process that led to the recent change of focus.

She recounts for the readers how reporters had been accosted in the streets and how subscribers have threatened to quit all apparently due to the negative tone that the paper believes it operated under.

So the solution it seems, will be to support the community by “presenting a more positive aspect during the difficult times” She goes on to remind Rupertites that the Daily News is the “paper of record” and has been for over 99 years, how it is the responsibility of the newspaper “to present the negative AND the positive aspects of the community in as balanced and informative manner as we are able, and thus remain neutral”

The editorial examines the papers interest in the fine line between journalistic balance and the ability of reporters to inflect personal curiosity into any particular article.

In the closing paragraph of the editorial is a mission statement of sorts to do what they have always been doing, reporting on local events of the day including the hard news and the fluff.

The piece ends with a reminder that they have a Letters to the Editor section in the paper where readers are encouraged to make their views known.

Interestingly enough, on Monday's very own Letter to the Editor page is a correspondence from a former reporter at the Daily News, James Vassallo who provides his viewpoint and interpretation on the changing nature of the news cycle in Prince Rupert.

His comments were pre released if you will on Sunday, as he joined in on the lengthy discussion on the Daily news that the local message board hackingthemainframe has been hosting.

While the Daily News awaits the letters in the mailbox, they might wish to partake in a little web surfing over at htmf, the discussion has been passionate about the state of news in the community and the latest moves from the newspaper.

The good news one supposes is that the locals are still actually interested enough in the product to want to discuss it, should the day come when they stop showing that interest then no amount of makeovers or reinventions will be enough to turn back the tide of irrelevance.

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