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News stories in the shadows

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Posted: Monday, April 2, 2012 8:01 am

I was reading an Associated Press story about "shadow" real estate inventory this morning and I soon had a sense of disappointment.

I'm pretty interested in the mortgage market crisis. This story had a feature lead about a Florida real estate agent who carriers a gun to protect himself while investigating abandoned homes. The writer hooked me with that one.

The headline was "Foreclosure crisis is still leaving homeowners, banks in the shadows." The story filled about a third of page 7 in the Monday, April 2 paper.

But the more I got into the story, the more I realized that this was a long, well-researched story that had to be severely foreshortened because the Sentinel doesn't have even a fraction of the space to run the stories we receive from the AP. I have to commend our copy editors for cutting this story in a logical spot. That's not always easy.

But because the story began with the scene of the real estate agent with a gun, I was smitten. That probably happens to many readers.

So I went online to find out the full story. A search for AP National Writer "Adam Geller" and real estate agent "Frank Verna" found the story on half a dozen websites including Business Week, Great Britain's Guardian and the Miami Herald.

Just because I have a soft spot for small newspapers, I'll provide a link to the  Huntingdon Daily News' full version of the story.

I was struck by the similarity between me and Frank Verna.

He's chasing down "shadow real estate." Now I'm thinking about "shadow news stories." How can we let Sentinel readers find full versions of stories they care about on Lodinews.com.

When I find an answer I'll let you know.

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