The Daily Times does an amazing job with the staff they have left to put out a daily paper, but some days I can’t excuse their execution. Yesterday (11/6/2020) was one of those days.
Page 1, 3&4: Election 2020
Page 5-6: County Government and Crime
Page 7-9: Election news
Page 10 on: Normal stuff
Most of us read the paper from front to back unless we’re diehard sports fans. With the election being the big story of the week, the casual reader should expect all the election content upfront and if you have some extra time, you’ll keep reading to see what was going on on the local scene.
Pages 5 put a hard stop on election news as if it were Breaking News with two marijuana stories: one about county government decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana and the other about a large marijuana bust in Chester. Page 6 followed that up with two Chester related murder stories: one on the search for a suspect and the other on the arrest of two murder suspects. And then we go back to our regularly scheduled program of election news.
I could comment on the fact that the only criminal activity chronicled on those pages, and implicitly in the entire county that day, all took place in Chester as if there wasn’t a single arrest in any of the other 48 municipalities this week. But I won’t go there in this post. My rant is as a reader and how the order of their content abruptly interrupted the election coverage with these crime stories.
As a newspaper guy, I’m probably the only one who thinks the layout of that issue was bizarre.
Imagine the day when the sports nuts will start from the back page and read about the Eagles, some high school sport stories, trade talks, only to be interrupted by a couple pages dedicated to senior citizen concerns, some comics, and an editorial before continuing with sports scores and schedules. Sports fans would freak out.
I don’t know what the Daily Times was thinking that day but I’m still glad the dedicated few are still on the job providing great local content. But, it does serve to notice that hyper local news is valuable and missing in so many communities. A county paper can’t cover what’s important in every town every day. Or, are we at the point of not needing a newspaper at all? I hope not.