Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Three deaths today, great work guys

Mark Yost is the St. Paul Pioneer Press associate editorial page editor who recently wrote a contoversial (to his co-workers at least) piece called Why they hate us. In a Powerline post titled "THE VINDICATION OF MARK YOST", we read a very telling internal email from one of Yost's colleagues, senior news editor John Welsh:

I'm following up on a conversation during this morning's editors meeting. I feel we could be doing a better job covering the Iraq War on the home front. Like most newspapers, we do a good job of covering the extremes, such as the deaths of Minnesotans in this war. But we often fall short in covering the daily stress and drama that the war produces in our community. I don't necessarily think we need to have a reporter assigned to this but I think the paper and our readers would benefit if all of us looked for interesting war angles on our beats. Examples: How are schools covering the war in the classroom? Are recruiters more or less welcome these days? Junior ROTC more or less popular? Do families with loved ones abroad have special financial considerations that a biz story could explore? Are returning soldiers finding it difficult going back to office jobs? Are returning soldiers joining local VFW's? Is the reaction returning soldiers different from those received by Persian Gulf vets?

We've done good work. The coverage of the three Minnesota deaths in one day was superb. So was Jeremy's story on soldiers recovering from brain injuries at the VA. The soldier surprising mom at school made a terrific photo and was a great slice of life. I'm just wondering if there is more we can do.

If you have home front story ideas, discuss them with your editor. If you have broader ideas about how the paper should approach this story, feel free to respond through an ALL NEWS email.

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