Newspapers such as ours, already intently local in focus, have tried to intensify that concentration — at least to the extent the current economy allows — as online operations grow in importance.
The logic is thus: All sorts of new and traditional media provide national and international news, but there are far fewer alternatives for local news. Ergo, it makes sense for us to spend our time directing readers to coverage of our geographic area, particularly online, where the universe is so large and competition for broad stories unwinnable for an outlet our size. (Exceptions would include our McClatchy Washington bureau’s recent coverage of the military drone program, but that was reporting no other national outlets had.)
But just as we come to embrace the new “rules” of the game — stop chasing our tails trying to be “first” on national stories — along comes the tragedy of the Boston Marathon and the ensuing manhunt.
This gripping news unfolded at precisely the same time as one of the biggest annual events in our coverage area — actually, the biggest event in our coverage area — the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing. Here are some decisions we made about balancing coverage and the logic behind them.story about opening ceremonies
Had the lockdown in Boston extended through the weekend, the decisions would have gotten more difficult, still. After all, Heritage rounds gain importance with each passing day, and the weekend round attract more spectators and, presumably, Packet readers. However, with Tamrlan Tsarnaev dead and his younger brother in custody late Friday, we went back to our new default settings in print and online — let local dominate.
I’m comfortable with the decisions we made and the play we gave two important stories, given the information available when we made them. That said, I’m eager to hear comments from readers. For instance, I’d like to know how much news about Boston you got from our newspaper or our website.
And I’d particularly like to hear from those who did get their Boston news elsewhere. Should we have focused on the Heritage? Or would secondary play to the events in Boston makes us too provincial — or even disrespectful — in your opinion?