Remember that on Thursday, May 17, my plan had been to cover the G8 Summit at Camp David, until I saw Aaron Walker’s 28,000-word epic, “How Brett Kimberlin Tried to Frame Me for a Crime” and immediately recognized his story as newsworthy.
Robert Stacy McCain Connecting the Dots, Telling the story Feb 18th 2013
Indo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
The Princess Bride 1987
I saw an interesting tweet concerning this story at the San Bernardino Sun
Exactly six months after 20 children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., a small group from Organizing for Action stood here Friday with 26 flags and signs calling for stricter gun control.
The story by staff writer Ryan Hagen isn’t long, only 194 words when counted via Microsoft word, but you know what’s even smaller, the number of protesters the story is talking about…
Yes you read that right, three protesters calling for gun control was worthy of send staff writer Ryan Hagen to cover it and produce a 194 word story in this paper.
“It’s three people today, but it will be 23 next time, and we’ll see the time after that,” Lewis said.
Think about it, this paper sent a staff writer Ryan Hagen, he saw three protesters and wrote the story, the newspaper decided three protesters were newsworthy, an editor edited the story and the paper printed a story containing an average of 64.6 words per protester in attendance.
Seeing this my thoughts instantly turned to the annual March for Life, it was very well attended this year:
More than 500,000 people are attending today’s March for Life in a massive attendance that could be well higher than that estimate and set records for the annual pro-life event challenging the mantra of unlimited abortion.
That was under six months ago. Based on the San Bernardino Sun’s word per protester standard of 64.6 words per protester to give the same coverage the Sun would have to devote 32,600,000 words to the March for Life. If you figure 3 sections of 16 pages with an average of 4000 words per page it would take 169 days to provide equal coverage per protester and that’s if they devoted every single word every day to the March
Since that would be unrealistic the question becomes exactly how many words did the San Bernardino Sun decide the 500,000 people in the March for Life were worthy of?
Times being what they are The San Bernardino Sun might not want the expense of sending staff writer Ryan Hagen to DC to cover the march. Perhaps instead they would pick up an AP story and maybe send Mr. Hagen to interview a local person who two who attended the March after the fact to produce a local angle, maybe even a follow-up story with reaction from proponents and opponents. Might generate some buzz and sell some papers.
So to find out what the coverage was I did a search of the paper for “march for life”
OK there is one result but the title confused me. “Attack Dog Bill” would seem an odd title for a story on the March for life. What was their angle? Did they report the protest as an “attack” on Abortion, did they do a related piece on a bill introduced after the protest that may have gotten some attention?
My confusion lasted until I actually looked at the page and found it wasn’t a story about the March for Life it was a a “letters to the editor” page and nestled amid the 1200 words commenting on various pieces such as “Adopting landscaping rules for homes” and “Rams owner Frontiere dies” was this letter to the editor:
Thank goodness the television network EWTN had four hours of coverage about the March for Life in Washington, D.C., on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The pro-life protest has been growing steadily for 35 years. Freezing weather has not stopped the people from converging on the mall to protest the legalized aborting of the holy innocents.
I could not find any articles in the Daily News about the march which occurred on Jan. 22. This year the mall was filled and spilling into the surrounding streets. As usual, the majority of participants were young. This is big news. Where is the coverage?
– MAUREEN C. WIGGINS
Lake View Terrace
So lets sum up: Three anti gun protesters is worthy of an original 194 word story written by a staff writer for the San Bernardino Sun.
500,000+ plus protesters in cold weather at the March for Life are not only unworthy of coverage but the only mention in the paper are 112 words by a reader wondering why there was no coverage.
And people wonder why newspapers are dying?
I know Stacy McCain is kind of busy between his own blog and being the Editor in Chief of the new Website Viral Read but I think for a nominal fee they might be able to engage him for a video conference for the News staff to give a quick lesson on how to determine if a story is newsworthy and if it is not.
Perhaps if they do they won’t see snarky tweets like this one about them:
Update: Hotair & href=”http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/171014/”>Glenn discover the story but it’s not the small amount of the gun control crowd that matters, it’s that it still got coverage with only three folks. Will they cover the Tea Party today? Do I have to ask?