Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Rocky Mountain News versus Denver Post

In addition to the local Republic of Boulder Camera, there are two major daily newspapers here - the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post. I have subscribed to the Post for probably close to a decade, although I get the Rocky on Saturday since they have a Joint Operating Agreement. Since they both report the same basic news, probably not a lotta difference between 'em ... but I've noticed that the Rocky seems to do more in-depth narrative articles - one of my favorites was Final Salute. That's a pretty somber piece, so here's a more uplifting story about our men and women in uniform and how jet noise is the sound of freedom.

But one very significant difference recently highlighted is their willingness to correct errors. Rivaling "Deway defeats Truman", almost every US media outlet incorrectly reported that 12 of the 13 Virginia Coal Miners were alive - unfortunately, it was the opposite. The Rocky goofed as did the Post.

However, in the very next day's Rocky Mountain News, the publisher, John Temple, had a lengthy explanation/apology that ran on page A2 with more info on his blog. Since I get the Denver Post print edition, I looked ... and zippo beyond a generic article about the national media's boo-boo (but not mentioning the Post's snafu) by their TV critic buried halfway in. I saw nothing until almost a week later when in a postscript to "The curse of the news cycle" editorial, the Post added "Early editions of Wednesday's Post carried the headline mentioned in the column. Later editions reported 12 miners had been found alive, while final editions reported only one survivor." Not quite as timely and prominent as the Rocky correction, 'eh?

John Temple is right - there is a difference between the papers. I switched my subscription from the Denver Post to the Rocky Mountain News.

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