Blogs » Your Advocate: an editor's blog » What story deserves the front page and why?

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When we place a story on the front page, we are not advocating for it.

Rather, we make our news decisions based primarily on how interested and important our readers might be on any given article. In the case of Monday's story on the first gay-pride event in the Crossroads region, we thought many readers would find it interesting.

We figured some readers would object to the event while others would celebrate it, based on their individual political and religious backgrounds. We were looking at the story, however, only through the filter of what is news. Of course, any definition is subjective, but most journalism textbooks cite these characteristics: timeliness, impact, proximity, controversy, prominence, currency and oddity.

By this standard, you can see why the first gay-pride event in the Crossroads region would fit the definition of news. Every day, we weigh the local menu of stories and see what's best to serve up on the front page. If you would like to see this process in action, I encourage you to e-mail or call me at 361-574-1271 to arrange a visit to our afternoon news meeting.

After Monday's story appeared, I called a Yoakum reader who had canceled his subscription. He shared that he thought Americans were losing their rights and didn't think a conservative community wanted to endorse such an event.

I told him I agreed with him about the importance of our individual liberties. My bias, based on my line of work, is that a locally owned newspaper, such as the Advocate, provides the foundation for those rights in a democratic society. The First Amendment protects not only the freedom of the press, but freedom of religion, freedom of speech, the right to peaceably assemble and the right to petition the government.

I encouraged him to exercise his rights by voicing his opinion about this event and any other news. We ended our call on a positive note, and I told him I hoped I'd see him at the Yoakum Lions Club meeting on May 20. I just learned today I've been invited to speak to this group. He said to tell the Lions I'd talked to "a grumpy old man."

I hung up with a smile on my face. Even when we disagree, I am heartened when we can do so agreeably.