Tuesday, 8 January 2008

What's news is all relative ...

The local Reading paper does what a lot of papers do when in competition with big boys (like The Times) -- it covers news that locals couldn't find elsewhere, no matter how seemingly small and insignificant. This often means anything could be news, like a kid's bike being stolen or a cat using a toilet (with video included, ugh).

Flipping through a local paper (in any country) is often amusing, but I'm not knocking it. I worked at a small paper early in my career, and there simply wasn't the staff or funds to cover the big stuff (which was already being covered in lots of other papers and shared around via news wire services). What readers can't get elsewhere is the small (sometimes *very* small) stuff from their hometown. So small papers are usually weak on serious or in-depth news, but that's not typically their job. They won't tell you what's going on in the world; they tell you what's going on with your neighbors. It won't win a Pulitzer, but it fills a niche.

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