Dec 31 2012
10:22 am

Jack Lail has some interesting discussion about beat reporting and particularly "local news" as newspapers struggle to reinvent themselves.

One interesting but not necessarily surprising assertion is that most people just don't care about local news. But maybe that's because of how it's produced. As Jack says, "'Lively,' 'readable,' 'engaging,' 'insightful' are not words you will hear describing most newspapers, much less 'must read.'"

Anyway, see Jack Lail's post at the above link and follow his links for more insights.

bizgrrl's picture

I enjoy reading the Maryville

I enjoy reading the Maryville Daily Times for local news.

jbr's picture

I read selected articles in

I read selected articles in the online NS. In the print version I read the Sunday Business, Perspective and sports. It seems like some of the best articles I have seen online are reprinted from the Chattanooga paper.

I think the NS will have to make a decision to "go for it" so to speak. Thorough, fact filled, non-slanted, local articles. They should not be trying to write hit pieces, but not shy away from deeply researched truth.
I also think that does not mean usually negative articles. Write about good things that people do and things that happen. To make those compelling sometimes takes some excellent writing drawing readers into the emotions and thoughts of the level you might expect in a novel. When I used to read the NS more, I would get frustrated a bit as the articles frequently created a lot of unanswered questions.

Elwood Aspermonte's picture

I'd add a sleepy District Attorney to the mix

For a number of years, Knoxville and Knox County have struggled with inept local leadership, highlighted by an abundance of government hyginx, gamesmanship, and downright abuse of position and taxpayer dollars, which was largely inexplicably ignored by the local district attorney and the prosecution arm of the law in general.

For the most part, only special prosecutors brought in by the state have been able to drive some of these nerdowells from office and occassionally the federal government has weighed in as well. Where there is no fear of law enforcement, there is no accountability to the public at large and that is why we have such piss poor leadership in Knoxville and Knox County, while other communities continue to expand, grow, and develop their economic base, Knox County continues to puff around like all is well, but in reality, the situation is worse here than in most similarly sized cities in the South.

Rachel's picture

The local news is the main

The local news is the main reason I read the KNS. I can get national and state new elsewhere.

IMO, the paper needs to get beat reporters who are willing (and paid) to put in the time to understand the context of what they're writing about. Too many times I read local stories about a meeting where the "what" is correct, but the "why" is completely missing.

Also, in my continuing saga of complaints about editing, there was the story Terry Morrow wrote last week in which he said that some television program "had went" to the same well too many times.

"Had went?" Srsly???

Pam Strickland's picture

Plus 1, Rachel.

Plus 1, Rachel.

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