Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Verde Independent: "Renzi, Hambrick could have dodged current spotlight"

Here's an example of how an editorial related to this breaking news can express disapproval while maintaining journalistic integrity and credibility. Contrast this with yesterday's Courier editorial.

Talk of the Town: "Day laborers deserve compassion, not persecution"

At last the Courier allows someone to stand up and tell the truth about the day-labor non-problem. Dennis Duvall writes with clarity and strength, an adult walking into what has been a kindergarten howl. How refreshing! The idea that the Council might reverse course and designate the Lincoln Street wedge as a day-labor sanctuary is over the top, but it also throws a high-contrast light on just how nasty this business has become.

Letters: Strip-mining Prescott

Steve Courteol and Boyd Johnson state the obvious in today's letterbox. We also have Ken Coleman desperately wanting to believe that there are two equal sides to the climate crisis, and Louis Peters complaining about the lack of curbside glass recycling.

A1: "Springer reported assessor concerns to attorney"

Joanna Dodder's third installment in the Hambrick-Townsend story focuses on what the Queen Bee knew and when she knew it, partially answering my question from Sunday . It looks like there may be a little buck-passing going on at the county building. Check those final quotes from Mr Hunt -- do you smell something?

A1: "Park West rezoning gets council approval"

Solid, balanced reporting on what happened in the meeting, with enough background to knit it together. Another cookie for Cindy Barks.

A1: "Local vets build area's first equine hospital"

I've patronized Prescott Animal Hospital and I think it's a great bunch of people. There's clearly a news story here, but I think Paula Rhoden or the editors may be a little too used to writing local-business puff pieces, and so got hold of the wrong angle.

The lead is in the fourth graph, where we learn that Prescott has "the first all-equine hospital north of Phoenix." Starting there, the story would have focused on the benefit to the community and less on the advertising value.

A1: "ERAU chancellor steps down, leaves legacy"

Standard inside-feature stuff.

A3: "Prescott Valley police arrest five suspects after assault probe"

Okay, today Ken Hedler turns in something more informative, following up yesterday's A1 notes dump on the brouhaha in PV. Take a look at the mug shots and you've got a pretty good idea of what motivates the mayhem.

This is becoming a rhythm. Fur starts flying, usually in PV, the reporter gets some of it but really has no idea what happened, and page one goes to press. In the next day or two the rest of the story comes out, and the followup usually looks completely different from the preliminary.

It seems the editors are trying to compete with local radio on breaking news, which is a mug's game. Better to hold the story until you can tell it intelligibly.

Editorial: "Hotel heiress getting what she deserves"

It ought to be immediately apparent to the unnamed Courier editor that this topic has absolutely no relevance to our community, and the prurient few who might be interested don't read.

Waste of space.