We plead guilty to a certain shall we say crankiness when surveying the mainstream headlines for scraps of local edification, but hey folks, we’re just tryin’ to help. Our intentions are good, please don’t let us be misunderstood. So when we earnestly inaugurate a feature called Local Headlines That Ran Elsewhere, we’re not saying the headline or story never ever ran in local media. We’re merely pointing out recognition by the Outside World of our humble region. “Seattle Man Bites Renton Dog” in The New York Times is probably of interest no matter how many times the story has run in the P-I. And when we decry the lack of a Big Picture in local reporting, we’re merely suggesting that an awareness of, and linkage to, larger forces at play help provide a context to make readers care. “Cat Climbs Tree in Ballard Before Earthquake” is not nearly the story that “Thousands of Cats Throughout Northwest Take to Trees Before Earthquake” is.
If you are distraught at having stumbled into Journalism 100.5, then yes, you can correctly surmise that this is an extremely slow headlines day. I’m writing this at 12:30 a.m., waiting for The Times Web site to flip, the P-I having provided me with “Sometimes Scanners Get Price Wrong” (Good Lord, now I’ll never get to sleep!) and “Neuheisel Eyes Successful Return” (and even if I do, my worst nightmare will be confirmed). Of course, the scanner story doesn’t mention what to do when you’re undercharged, which in my experience happens more often. Leave it to the press to out one of consumers’ few weapons against rampant inflation. Hopefully Costco management won’t see this one.
I would be remiss not to tip my hat to Times senior political writer David Postman for his generous acknowledgment in The Stranger of my conversation with my daughter a week ago, wherein I informed her that our beloved Crocodile, where Franz Ferdinand, Turin Brakes, Tapes ‘n Tapes and so many other uncommercialized rising bands had provided so much personal joy and temporary deafness, was closing its sticky grimy doors. But this was hardly my scoop, as I noted in Tuesday’s headlines post. My only reason for bringing up the thing was to give The Weekly credit, which is more than our friends at Slog have. Not to slight them in the slightest: I was just thinking how wonderful it is to have Erica C. Barnett back rattling the cages at City Hall (which were notably undisturbed by any local media during her absence), so much so that I almost forgave her for taking yet another interminable vacation, this time with a paucity of posts that she blamed on lack of Wi-Fi. This of course being the current reporter’s “headache and flu” excuse after a night of carousing, my all-time favorite being, after a reporter called in with a bad back, his editor’s observation that the female reporter he was with the previous night was no doubt going to call in with a bad front.
At Erica’s age I was getting two weeks of vacation and wasn’t paid enough to go to
Italy Barcelona, or even Austin. But it seems only fair that someone who does the work of three reporters get commensurate time off. Welcome back Erica. Now tell me what Conlin will do as the next Council president…
Ah yes, The Times site has flipped, and the lead is lead: High lead levels in kids’ jewelry, a lamentable but unsurprising development to HA readers of Goldy’s scoop yesterday, sprinkled liberally with insights and calls to action, the way real journalism is supposed to work.
Addendum: Somehow in my blurry-eyed mumblings I missed the P-I coverage of the homeless rally last night. Nothing in The Times, which apparently is content to stick with Nicole Brodeur’s boneheaded revelations of a couple weeks ago (although a search did turn up a creditable report on Gates Foundation efforts for homeless families). The best discussion of course resides at Real Change and its
editor publisher Tim Harris’ great blog. Give an RC vendor a fiver next time around, it’s Christmas folks.