An Admitted Rant Concerning Local News Coverage

Update about five hours after posting the rant below, a link/view to the document can now be found on the local Paper of Record’s story. Thank you. Hence, we can consider the rant below “closed.” Until next time, but we’re hoping there’s never a next time.

by Scot

In a sentiment that very much reflects that I am older, wish to consider myself fairly “well read,” and out of step/touch with huge swaths of our modern world, I fervently believe newspapers continue to be the most important news source we have.

That puts me at least two generations behind today’s conventional wisdom, if it is either of those things, having long-ago eschewed the age of TV news that is itself in a phase close to death, and almost universally avoiding online “news” sites, unless they are newspapers.

I “do” Twitter, but never open/start any video. I see absolutely no point in having videos there. Twitter’s role, when done correctly in my view, is to be the newspaper until the next edition. I also do spend some time online with Better Burque, but as you’re reading this, you’ve probably noticed a rather extreme lack of video, and a strong penchant for graphs, obscure photos and drawings, and other things designed for people who like newspapers.

I like newspapers. Not to belabor the point, but I feel they are still the most important news source we have.

This sentiment, quite frankly, makes living in Albuquerque more difficult than it could be. Reading the local Paper of Record is often hard. Sometimes it’s impossible. I don’t think that’s the fault of anyone whose name you typically see affixed to the stories there. The reporters are not the problem.

And as Better Burque is a solutions-based “publication,” I’m going to avoid ranting about what the problem actually is, and instead rant about a simple suggestion, one coming from one older guy who loves newspapers to another.

Put the goddamn links to the ************ original documents referred to in the goddamn online version of your ******* stories.

In ye olden times, the role of newspapers was to take documents too long and complex to be digested/understood by the general reader and write interpretive pieces which picked out the “important parts” and related those to readers in an easily understandable way.

This admittedly gatekeeper approach granted, of course, a great deal of narrative power to newspapers: they got to frame the “story,” using the gravitas and agreed upon veracity of the “official” document as the truth behind that frame.

And we as readers acknowledged this, as accessing the original document was far too difficult, if not impossible. This is not the case, today. There is a thing called the Internet. I know it’s killing my beloved newspapers, which remain our most important news source, but the Internet allows online versions of hard-copy newspaper stories to post links to the original documents from which interpretive stories spring.

Really. You can do that these days. Really.

Case in point: The local Paper of Record has a story, which I believe was in this morning’s hard-copy version, about City Inspector general David Harper’s report on Albuquerque Rapid Transit and Mayor Keller’s response to said report. As in ye olden times, references are made to what is in the report, including “key findings” as interpreted by the reporter/editor.

Meanwhile, local TV news (an oxymoron if I’ve ever seen/heard/read one, in my humble opinion) posts a short written piece along with video clip from its broadcast (a clip I will never watch in a million, trillion years, frankly), a write-up that includes a goddamn link to the original ************* Inspector General report.

inspector generals report
If your humble blogger wasn’t ranting this morning, he would instead be pointing out some of the very “funny” statements made in this report. Read it for yourself (link above). It’s worth it.


Is this that hard?

As one who loves newspapers and continues to believe…okay, I’ll stop repeating that…am I correct in thinking that it’s somehow technologically beyond the capacity of our local Paper of Record to post such links in their online version? Or is some other thought process in play that forces those interested to go to stinking local TV news websites for access to such original documents?

Before I go into a weekend filled with telling young people to get off my lawn so I can read The New York Times, Guardian and Seattle Times in peace, I just want to reiterate that I love newspapers and really, really want to love the local Paper of Record, regardless of Editorial Board political inclination. That this desire for love has been largely unrequited for years/decades now pains me.

Ease my pain, at least a little, local Paper of Record. Kindly put the goddamn links in.

Have a great weekend, everybody. Particularly those at the local Paper of Record.




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