What a month! Since our Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008, issue of the Craig Daily Press hit the streets, we have been bombarded with phone calls regarding our decisions on placement of our news coverage on the presidential election.
We have been contacted by many people who were offended by the front-page story reporting that Moffat County results in the presidential race were different from nationwide results. Some callers were upset with our choice to publish a picture of President-elect Barack Obama; others were frustrated that we didn't have a picture of Obama on the front page.
I am writing today for the simple reason that there is misinformation circulating about our news decisions, and I want readers to know the entire story.
In planning for election coverage in the Daily Press, I had three goals:
• Get in the latest and most complete election coverage possible.
• Get the paper delivered to our customers before they went to work.
• Ensure that our news coverage was fair and balanced.
I made the decision the week before the election to leave pages 1, 2, 27 and 28 open for election results. I did so because these four pages are printed on the same press unit, thereby saving us time in the production process and giving us the ability to accomplish our goals with a later deadline.
I also was very interested in the results of the local district attorney race, so we had plans to wait as long as possible in an attempt to get those results into the paper on that Wednesday.
I strongly believe that local news should be the primary focus of the Daily Press. I can't remember a time when national news was on the front page of the Craig Daily Press since I became publisher. I believe wholeheartedly in the decision to lead with local news regarding the presidential race and jump to a more nationally focused story.
I believe that the majority of readers of the Daily Press already knew the results of the presidential election by the time they picked up the Nov. 5 paper.
I believe it is our job to inform Craig readers of what is happening locally first, then, as space allows, to provide readers with as much state and national news possible.
This decision was not made based on President-Elect Barack Obama's race or party. The decision was based on the fact that the Craig Daily Press serves Craig and Moffat County. I knew it was important to include coverage of the presidential race in the paper, and that we did, on the back page. Furthermore, it was on the back page because of the schedule we were on to print the paper.
When the presidential race was called, we already had sent many pages to the press, and so our choices of placement were limited.
While you may not agree with our decision, I hope that after reading this column, you will understand my motivation.