My friend and former colleague, John Robinson, visited my editing class yesterday afternoon. He’s the editor of the News & Record in Greensboro.
Robinson asked the students in the class to go to a news Web site of their choice and tell him what the top story was at the moment. CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times and several other sites had the story about a congressional hearing into the Toyota recall as the big news. The outliers were the Huffington Post (an Afghanistan story) and WRAL and The News & Observer sites, which both were leading with news about turmoil on the Wake County school board.
Robinson told the students that the chances of the Toyota story appearing on the News & Record’s front page as virtually nil. The story was out there on TV and online all day — what could the Greensboro paper do with it that readers didn’t already know?
The News & Record considers itself a local newspaper. And indeed, its front page this morning is all about Greensboro. Toyota is mentioned in a promo at the bottom of the page, with a story on A6.
Was that the right call?