Friday, May 9, 2014

An Odd Mix of 'Local' Stories in Today's Paper

There was a curious mix of stories on the "front page" of the local daily's website this morning, 40 percent of them contributed by papers outside Roanoke, but members of Berkshire Hathaway's Virginia holdings. The Roanoke paper is a newish member of that conglomerate.

Those stories came out of Danville (a bear loose), Bristol (Virginia Intermont College closing), Richmond (Wilder slavery museum) and Lynchburg (Bedford school cuts). 'Twas a time when the Roanoke paper had local reporters covering Bedford, Bristol and significant Richmond stories, but I'm not sure a bear on the prowl in Danville or Virginia Intermont's future would have required much more than a paragraph in "Virginia Briefs."

There were five local stories, one of them sports (the NFL draft, a business closing, school board, tearing down an historic home), a review of hot tickets for the week, and the most curious piece of all: a review of Sunday's paper's Mother's Day sales inserts. That's a "front page" story on advertising in the paper. I take that as an ominous sign, but when you've had staff reduced the way the paper has, I guess you go with what you have and with what produces revenue, if you're to stay in business.

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