I like the Dallas area, but this is just plain weird. Poynter Online reports that the Terrell Tribune, which isn’t far from Dallas, got some backlash after failing to put Obama on the front page of the Wednesday, Nov. 5 edition. Some protesters picketed the newspaper, and I’m guessing the publisher’s explanation didn’t help:
Protestors pointed out that on Election Day, the Tribune had printed a John McCain-focused story as their lead story on the front page.
“It’s not the people in the community,” said another protestor. “It’s the paper itself.”
The Terrell Tribune’s publisher, Bill Jordan, declined an on-camera interview.
“We run a newspaper, not a memory book service,” he said. “We covered the local commissioner’s race. We thought that was more important.”
And yet they apparently put McCain on the front page of Election Day. Why not a county commissioner advance, since that was so important? And if they aren’t a memory book, then I guess he’ll stop publishing obituaries and weddings, right? Since they obviously aren’t newsy enough, and this isn’t a memory book service, after all.
You could make a case for leading with the local stuff. But you need to give a decent and reasonable explanation, and not pretend like the country didn’t just elect a president (a caveat to this would be if you don’t get any wire news, which, since this is a daily, I’m guessing is not the case).
I have sympathy for those in the newspaper world because times are so rough right now, but this publisher isn’t doing himself or his staff any favors.