A reader, Ken, responded to Nick’s post about headlines with criticism of what we consider front page news. "It absolutely boggles my mind that you bury most news of
the war on terror, Iraq etc on pages 6 – 8 most days," he writes. "…Put the
bad and good news of the war on Page 1."
I’ve just returned from Editors Day at the University of Kansas where presenters included the Pulitzer-prize winning team from the Rocky Mountain News whose project "Final Salute" centered on how the Marines diligently fulfill their responsibilities to families of Marines killed in Iraq. It was a wonderful, heart-breaking piece and brought home to me that local newspapers can best tell stories of the war when we concentrate on those stories that are closest to home.
The writer, photographer and editor at the Rocky Mountain News didn’t set out to win Pulitzers with this project. They set out to touch their readers with a story that had resonance locally and significance on a much wider scale. I think it’s important that we at The Wichita Eagle work to present stories that will touch our readers as much as this one touched readers in Denver.
Would I consider moving our daily coverage of the war to Page One? Most days, no. Our franchise is local, and I’m comfortable with the play of most of our wire reports from Iraq. But I came away from the KU presentation inspired by the challenge of shaping our coverage of the war to better convey how events in Iraq are impacting us in Wichita.