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National columns from local writers

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by ripthejacker, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Let me take this a step further. Is your editorial page editor unqualified to write about GWB because your paper doesn't have a Washington bureau? Is he unqualified to write about the governor's race if you don't have a statehouse reporter?
  2. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    But big-city writers are much more likely to be in contact with major league baseball sources, as a lot of the cities you have mentioned have been in the running for franchises at one time or another, and they all pretty much have Triple-A franchises. So yeah, probably more qualified.

    And again, I'd rather have my local paper editorializing about school bond issues and zoning issues than about whether we should be in Iraq or not.
  3. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    Every column stands on the merits of its opinions and writing, not on the ZIP code of the writer. To make hard and fast rules either way ignores this critical truth.
  4. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    That's a different bowl of fruit altogether, unsigned editorial board pieces. Those SHOULD be local only, or at least local impact on national stuff like elections and 9/11. But then I'm not a big fan of unsigned editorials that represent the newspaper, just on general principle.
  5. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    I've worked in one Class AAA city. I would say our paper's beat writer and the other paper's had, well, zero contact with MLB. As Bouton wrote, the minors are very minor.

    That's what you'd prefer, and of course you are entitled to that. However, an editorial writer in Dubuque is no more removed from Iraq than his counterpart in Des Moines. We're being rather capricious in who's qualified to write about what, is all I'm saying. The nerve of that guy in Podunk, writing about Bonds or GWB.
  6. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    No -- that's not it.

    My point, anyway, is that many of these Podunk-type columnists don't have anything to say. They're writing because they have a space to write, but they don't have anything to add. So what purpose do those columns serve?
  7. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    So you think the best use for a tight local paper newshole is to opine about national issues? Why the hell would I buy that paper when it's almost certain that there are voices covering the same territory in national papers or on Web sites that are probably saying it better? Why not give the local reader something he can't get elsewhere: strong commentary on local issues.
  8. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    I get plenty of commentary on local issues at small papers. I get very little strong commentary on local issues there. Therein lies the rub.
  9. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Some don't, true. But then you have some small papers -- Anniston, Concord, Glens Falls, New London, Watertown, the Berkshire Eagle before Singleton pillaged it -- that play a lot bigger than their size. For a while Anniston, Ala., was doing a weekly, staff-written page about international news. These papers try to offer their readers a complete package, the only news source they need. Nothing is off-limits. I think this is something to be applauded.

    What it comes down to is whether the columnist sucks or not. He is more likely to on a smaller paper, but this is hardly a given. A few years ago I was on vacation in Lake Placid and had my choice of a bunch of good papers. I read them all, but I thought Glens Falls was the best, even though Albany, Schenectady and Burlington, Vt., were larger and each had their strengths. The folks on the 35K did a great job. It read like a 100K.
  10. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    I prefer one-stop shopping.
  11. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    I suspect a lot of our readers do, too. Why we're telling them otherwise, I'm not sure (saving money and shutting up squeaky wheels are the two clubhouse leaders)
  12. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    Because in podunk towns you are going to buy the podunk paper. You don't give a shit about the USA Today because it has nothing to do with your town or area. I haven't written any national columns, but I've thought about and been given clearance to do so.
    I don't see what the problem is, though I agree with BuckW about don't write if you don't have anything to say.

    Also, has Bob Ryan ever met Barry Bonds? He obviously doesn't cover him and Bonds doesn't come to Fenway more than once every 5 years or so - if that, so I am not sure he should write on him.
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