OLD Media Moves

Helping people understand and cope

October 5, 2008

Ted Vaden, the public editor at The (Raleigh) News & Observer, assesses the paper’s coverage of the current economic crisis after hearing from some of the paper’s readers.

Ted VadenVaden writes, “I think The N&O has done a good job with the hard news coverage but, as the comments indicate, can do better helping people understand and cope. On most days, the coverage has dominated the front page, consumed a full page in the main news section and added local angles in the business pages.”

Later, he wrote, “Business Editor Mary Cornatzer guides the local reporting on the crisis. Her reporters have produced good stories on the impact of the credit crunch on local governments, the effect of the ‘short-selling’ ban on North Carolina financial firms, and all those depressing stories about local job losses.

“She and Wallace both are constrained by The N&O’s economic woes. Earlier deadlines have meant they have not been able to get into the paper late-moving stories and analysis from wire services, and Cornatzer’s reduced reporting staff (shrunk from 11 to six in the last year) can’t get to all the local angles.

“But she agreed with me that the paper can and should do a better job of bringing the macro story down to the micro — the local businesses and people for whom credit crunches translate into job losses, home foreclosures, loan rejections, personal suffering.”

Read more here.

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