Not enough coverage on 9-11!
That was the complaint of a few - but quite vocal - readers Friday.
Was the complaint valid?
On page one, we offered a lengthy investigative piece looking at problems with 9-11 anti-terror spending. This was accompanied by our own local angle on the issue. This package dominated page one.
Inside, we published a poignant column by Sgt. Chris Jacobson of the Lodi Police Department. The column described Jacobson's cousin, the late John McNamara, a New York firefighter who responded to the 9-11 attacks — and who was Jacobson's personal hero.
That's over 100 inches of text, plus two photos.
In contrast, the Sacramento Bee ran an extended version of the same investigative piece we did, also played off page one, along with a look at upcoming 9-11 events and an opinion column.
The Record had no 9-11 reference on page one, but did run two wire stories inside, an editorial and an editorial cartoon.
If you were to compare the percentage of column inches the News-Sentinel devoted to 9-11 content versus the Bee and The Record, considering each paper's total news space, we'd be ahead.
Yet there are other considerations.
First is this: The anniversary's primary activities, along with opportunities for news coverage, happen on 9-11, not the day before. So I suspect most print media, including the News-Sentinel, will have more coverage today than they offered Friday.
Another consideration: Though the investigative piece was strong and well-researched, I suspect it was not the kind of 9-11 coverage our readers had in mind when they lodged their complaints.
Rather, they were looking for more coverage, like the column by Sgt. Jacobson, that thoughtfully evoked and paid homage to those who died on that terrible day in September 2001.
Could we have done more? A feature or opinion column, a respectful editorial cartoon, a wire story and photo?
And in retrospect, I agree with our readers - we should have done more.