May I Be the First to Say...
New Albanians have come to expect less from The Tribune, our almost-daily paper struggling to compete with the dominant metropolitan daily newspaper. I hear story after story of people who once subscribed but wearied of the paper and settled for the coverage offered by the mega-chain.
Perhaps its time to give the paper another look. Although The Tribune is offering a very reasonable subscription offer (call 944-6481), you can get your feet wet by picking up a copy from a newsstand to see how signs of improvement are showing.
Saturday's front page is a masterful representation of news delivery by a small local daily.
Leading the page is a six-column headline revealing that Kay Garry, the city controller, is no wallflower, and she will not sit idly while Council Member Bill Schmidt and his activist wife use surrogates to attack her. Headline: City official considering legal action after accusations.
At the last, and momentous, city council meeting, Schmidt and his minions launched a reprehensible attack on Mrs. Garry's integrity. There is no other word for it. The charges were baseless and mean-spirited. Under the now monotonous banner of "we don't know," a bitter city resident, taking her cues from a small-minded cadre of fellow believers, demanded that council make a criminal referral against Mrs. Garry for what turned out to be "what-if" spreadsheet entries.
As a side note for all those demanding the city be run like a business, the "what-if" spreadsheet is THE standard tool of budgeting and forecasting in business, just as it is in the specialized world of fund accounting (government and non-profit bookkeeping).
City Editor Amany Ali turned in a gem of a story that did more than simply recite pull quotes from both sides of this issue. She illuminated the underlying reality. Great work, Ms. Ali.
Headline: Farmer's Market opens today. I would quibble with the punctuation on that headline, but County Reporter Kyle Lowry put together a strong piece about this enterprise, which expects to be a major contributor to the downtown lifestyle in coming months, especially as the early harvest begins to come in. The addition of music and crafts, plus health screenings and more, should help get this market back on its feet. Kudos to Susan Kaempfer, the volunteer market coordinator and all the others who are giving their time to renew this market.
Headline: Camm trial moved back to Warrick County. Few could argue with The Tribune's choice to pull together this breaking news story from Indianapolis. Of the local papers, only The Tribune added local items to this mostly-AP story that surprised many with the pre-holiday ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court.
Headline: NAHS Theatre gets national spotlight, and more. It must have been difficult for The Tribune to watch proudly as the nation's preeminent newspaper built a feature story around one of the Trib's local beats. They could hardly run a headline like National newspaper explores local high school theatre program. Even though the New York Times feature was big news around here, taking note of a competitor's coverage isn't the type of thing a professional newspaper would do. Great recovery, Tribune editors, in recasting the story with real news that most people did not know beforehand.
Balancing the front page is a standard story from The Associated Press and Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger reporting growth in personal incomes nationally.
I've written before how I support the local paper and urge you to do so, too. An edition like Saturday's is one good reason.