Monday, April 30, 2007

Background on the Luer Rocket story

In comments this morning Steve LaVigne offers an inside angle on the story from April 24 and what had gone before, including a cookie for Jason Soifer.

"The Courier refused news about the rocket in September 1984. (We had the rocket right out front of their office!) The Prescott Sun got the scoop instead! 22 1/2 years later the Courier puts together an article! Jason did a good job and researched the article. It actually seems to have a small amount of meat in it.

"Interestingly enough, The original Courier incident in 1984 made me come to the conclusion that the Courier really wasn't interested in local news!"

Those were the days of Jim Garner, who'd been on the paper since the late '50s, and nobody on the Courier now was involved then, I expect. You gotta wonder whether the office culture changed much, though.

Followup, 11:20am: Steve tells me that the the Courier eventually carried the story because Jason Soifer happens to have a family connection to the rocket's history. I kinda figured it was something like that, as that's how things usually work in smaller towns.

11 comments:

leftturnclyde said...

vootie!

Anonymous said...

You complain when the Courier puts local news on the front, and with our mantra of LOCAL, LOCAL, LOCAL you cannot believe it when we do a good piece?
Tim Wiederaenders
Managing Editor

Steven Ayres said...

Welcome, Tim. I'm not sure what you're unhappy about, as Jason just got a cookie for the story, and that's about as good as it gets around here. I don't think anyone's expressed disbelief. Care to clarify?

Anonymous said...

I just find it interesting -- all of this Monday-morning quarterbacking -- questioning what makes news and what does not. Add to that the comment that we did the rocket story only because Jason has family ties to it. I'm not sure that's true or not, but it's irrelevant. The point is we did the story.
It's just like when people call me to push for a story and they say, "We're an advertiser." My reply is simple: "Thank you. However, we'll do a story if it's the right thing to do for the readers, not because you're an advertiser."
Tim W.

Steven Ayres said...

=> questioning what makes news and what does not

So it's raising the question that's the problem? In any case, you'll be welcome to make your case here when the question comes up.

=> the comment that we did the rocket story only because Jason has family ties to it

The 'only' is yours. I did consider using that word, and rejected it. Obviously you thought the story was worth the space when Jason brought it in, so there's more than his personal connection. That's not the point. This blog is largely for news junkies, so your process is noteworthy here. If you read that as some kind of accusation, I'd say you might like to think about that.

courierfriend said...

How do you know Mr. Soifer brought it in, Steve? Luckily, and I mean luckily, reporters and editors on the Courier editorial staff are plagued constantly by newbies and eighth-generation Prescottonians alike to "do this story" or "do that story."
And how lucky for Mr. Soifer that you decided to give him a cookie. I'm sure that has cheered his day immensely.

mason lewis said...

Give all of us a break. It's a rocket! It got a story! It's local news - stuff that the "big" newspapers have no time for.

Steven Ayres said...

=> How do you know Mr. Soifer brought it in, Steve?

If you mean me, I don't, but as I wrote, Steve LaVigne told me that's how it happened.

=> how lucky for Mr. Soifer that you decided to give him a cookie.

It wasn't me, it was Mr LaVigne, I just labeled it as such.

Anonymous said...

I doth think Mr. Steven Ayres should do a better job checking his facts.

Anonymous said...

Well, yea! Blogs are cheap. Everybody has an opinion, some are smellier than others.

leftturnclyde said...

anonymous strikes again, twice!