The 27th write-thru

January 23, 2014


We’ll admit to reading, at least in part, the news story the Associated Press carried on Thursday about the arrest of 19-year-old pop star Justin Bieber. However, the staff offered a collective sigh at the first reports and uttered a collective “enough!” when the 27th version of the same story came over the wire before 3 p.m.

There are three general ways The Daily Journal gathers information and prepares the news for your reading pleasure the next morning.

First, we have three reports and an editor/content manager to who work a mix of in the office and in the community seeking stories, covering community events and hoping to convert the information they learn about during times you’re at work or otherwise occupied into a meaningful story.

Second, the newspaper receives a large volume of news releases from businesses, schools and nonprofit organizations in and around Richmond County. Staff prioritizes those submissions based on a number of factors, including timeliness, perceived interest to the community and, in short, what we believe will be well-read the next day.

The third manner in which we prepare and package the news is the easiest part of the job — through the Associated Press, or “wire,” we access a database of breaking stories from across North Carolina and the country. Of the hundreds or thousands of articles offered each day, we have space for a select few.

Like news releases, there is an order of priority for their selection. Timeliness is, of course, crucial. Local or regional impact also is considered. After that, it’s a judgement call on what we consider the news of the day.

What you won’t find in today’s edition, however, is any other mention of Justin Bieber. Yes, the young man was arrested for DUI, resisting arrest and other charges after being caught speeding up to 60 mph in a 30 mph zone.

He’s hardly a role model, however, Bieber admitted to the police that he’d been drinking and smoking marijuana as well as being on prescription medication — and driving on an expired license, well, there’s proof enough he didn’t exercise the best of judgement.

We used to think such reports helped to serve as a deterrent for those who followed celebrities. More and more, though, it seems that each star tries to out-do the other. Somehow, it’s become cool to get in trouble.

Even the Associated Press thought so. It wasn’t enough to report the incident. Instead, the story was updated at least 27 times on Thursday. We wonder what message that’s sending.