Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A breakfast with the Lynn Journal, or the Lynn Editorial...


Last weekend at Christopher's Cafe, I grabbed a copy of the Lynn Journal, as I often do while waiting for what is arguably the best Spanish omelette in Lynn.

I hadn't read their election coverage, so I started with the front page article, "Looking-At-Large," by Joshua Resnek.

I would like to quote a short section of it, that appears on the front page.

"By the topping the ticket after finishing third in the primary, Phelan showed that he, and he alone, owns the rights to succeed Mayor Judith Flanagan-Kennedy who, many are calling, a one term mayor.


Phelan worked hard to outdistance the up and coming Dan Cahill, who finished second and the very popular first timer Buzzy Barton who came in third.


Net’s victory pushed Paul Crowley off the council, a disappointment for many of us who respect Paul and who like him.


Back to Phelan … he showed how deep his strength is, how broad his base is, and how strong he really is in the final analysis."

Pick up almost any newspaper in America and turn a few pages in, and you'll come across an op/ed page. The Item has one, if you'd like a local example. Compare the snippet above to the paper's editorial and you'll see what I mean.

"Looking-At-Large" by Joshua Resnek is clearly the work of an editorial writer or that of a columnist, even if the use of ellipses makes it appear more like a blog entry ... such as this.

I'm not arguing Resnek's opinion, which he is of course entitled to. I'm not arguing that this opinion does not belong in the Lynn Journal, either. My argument is simply that by starting it on the front page where one expects to find hard, objective news - by replacing hard, objective election coverage with opinion, the Journal does its readership and this city a disservice. But if the Journal and Resnek would rather stick to opinion, than the responsible thing to do is clearly redefine to the public what the publication really is - to label it accordingly on the front page.

I think the Journal does a great job covering school sports, taking photos at local events, publishing obits and the other services a local paper usually provides, though. That's why in my opinion, it should move opinions to a clearly marked editorial page and label columnists as so. It's what an ethical journalist should do. It's what a proper newspaper does. And I don't want Lynn to be a one newspaper town.


Link to original article.


Now only if we had a Sunday paper again...


2 comments:

  1. Umm.. There is a second publication in Lynn Mass other than the Item..... Lynn Happens. :)

    ReplyDelete