Thursday, October 19, 2006

11 is not enough

Today's front page of the Enquirer goes back to the well on Strickland-Blackwell, has a story about some kid getting hit with a bottle of Gatorade, a discredited threat to NFL stadiums, and even finds room for a photo of Jerry Springer dancing. Stories promoted down the left side of the front page touch on Grey's Anatomy, the NBA, NASCAR, Comair and Fountain Square.

But there is no room for the biggest ongoing story, Iraq. The Pentagon reported on Wednesday that 11 American soldiers died on Tuesday, a huge one-day total. October is on pace to be the deadliest month for American soldiers since Fallujah two years ago. The Enquirer found room for 14 paragraphs about this on Page 2 of the paper. Compare this to the 20 paragraphs devoted to MLB funeral urns in the Business section on Page 12.

The carnage in Iraq was the lead story in both the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. The New York Times didn't lead with it, but had two stories on their front page about Iraq, and the deaths are a part of one of those stories on a page inside.

I can't find the words to describe how I feel about this. The Enquirer editors chose Gatorade over American lives, they chose Dancing with the Stars over American lives. Iraq is the biggest thing going right now. It is completely shaping the election -- and not things like Blackwell's desperate charges -- but gets almost no space on the front page.

I went through my stack of newspapers: So far in the month of October, Iraq has gotten one mention -- that's just one -- in the left-hand column on the front page. To compare, Jerry Springer's progress on Dancing with the Stars has gotten three stories and one left-hand mention on the front page. I can't imagine what's driving the choice of stories on the front page of the Enquirer. It's not common sense, and it's not any sense that there's a larger world outside of Greater Cincinnati. This is small-town thinking at its worst. If Enquirer editors were normal human beings they'd be ashamed the paper they're putting out there every day, but I can't see they have any sense of shame.


Blogger Monica said...

I have read your posts and I must say that I find them to be very refreshing and long overdue. As a parent of Withrow high school football player (th of my sons have played or currently play for the team) I have constantly called the prep sports editor to complain about the dismal coverage that CPS sports programs, players and coaches receive in the paper. The last time I was told basically when we get 10,000 people to the ames we will get equal coverage. It was an outrage! Srry I just had to rant a bit about that!! But to the topic Iraq will not be a topic of interest here as long as the majority of Cincinnatians still rank Survivor as a top television show. We do not want news we want to be entertained and we are unwilling to face the harsh realities of life. I frequently read the Toledo, Columbus and Cleveland papers and am always amazed by what is never mentioned here in Cincinnati.

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're doing a good job, News Ache.

The Enquirer, in trying to compete with the Internet, is losing print journalism's inherent strengths and driving away readers. The paper is dull and uninformative.

2:39 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home