Mark Yesterday on the Calendar

29 01 2009

In yesterday’s Hampton Roads Section of the Virginian Pilot, the editorial staff actually printed a staff editorial that is a call to action for the Virginia Beach City Council. Not only that, but it was a pro-LRT editorial. This is a very big step for the Pilot. They picked out all the right points and called out all the right people. That is the kind of news I want to see more of in the paper.

The Pilot, like most news papers, are worried about declining readership and circulation. They attribute this decline to the competition from the Internet. I disagree. I think that it has more to do with the fact that you can find real stories on-line. Real people learn about events and write about them. The majority of the Pilot nowadays is A-P reprint trash. We have go to be one of the only large metropolitan areas in the country without an investigative newspaper. In Wednesday’s Front Page Section, out of 28 sizable stories, only 8 were from a Pilot reporter. The majority of those were about Virginia or Hampton Roads stories. The few about national politics were written by the Pilot’s sole reporter for DC, Dale Eisman. The capitol is a little big for one man to cover, isn’t it? I don’t expect a team of reporters there, but there is a Senate and a House. Maybe we could get two?

Together with that, the Associated Press stories are usually stale by the time the reach the Pilot. Last year, I spent a few weeks buying the Virginian-Pilot, the Washington Post, The Richmond Times-Dispatch, USA Today, and the Daily Press. Usually, by the time a story hit he Pilot, I had already read it multiple days earlier in at least 2 other papers. I guess if you only read the Pilot, the news seemsnew. Does that go for TiVo? If I just wait a couple of days to watch the news, will it still be news? Or history? We live so close to DC. Why do we get more New York Times articles than stories from our own paper?

Come on Pilot, you’ve made strides in the local news sector, now can we assign a team to get fresh national news? Until then, I want to see more investigative journalism pieces in the paper. Otherwise, by the time it get to us, you could read it in a History book.

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