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'Negligent reporting'

A Ron Paul supporter wrote to me to complain that the Sun had not covered the failed Republican presidential candidate's appearance at Goucher College the other night. "I took my 15-year-old to see Ron Paul at Goucher the other night," she said. "It was packed -- standing room only, probably between 500 and 1,000 people there. He was sublime, rational, cogent and amazing. The Sun coverage of the event was comprehensive.  . . . Duh-oh, there WAS no Sun coverage!"

Well, it was a Monday evening, 7:30 pm., speech. By that hour, the only news The Sun would have an interest in covering on evening deadline -- for Tuesday's paper -- would be important, breaking news. That's how things work at this newspaper and many others. Another Ron Paul speech is just not that important.

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I'm not saying there isn't value in what he has to say about the state of the nation. I'm saying to expect the Sun or other daily news organizations to, at this point, drop what they're doing to capture his words or positions for readers is unrealistic.

Aside from the logistical issue, there's the question of whether Ron Paul is still newsworthy -- any more than any other failed candidate for president. I'm not involved in these decisions at The Sun, and don't presume to speak for my editors. But Paul got about 19,000 votes in the Maryland Republican primary two months ago, so, whether Paul supporters like it or not, that result diminishes interest in him as a candidate. What can I tell you? We've moved on. Not even the Examiner covered his speech the other night. Print news space is at a premium these days. (At least we had a digest item announcing Paul's speech in advance of the event, so that his supporters could know when and where he was appearing.)

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Nonetheless, the posting of this item has led to all kids of negative comments about the media's coverage of Ron Paul. Have at it, folks. It's a free country, and the Sun is so generous with its on-line space, we allow a constant barrage of criticism of how we do things.

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