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All the news that's fit to snicker at...

How desperate are folks here for something newsworthy to report? Check out what made it onto the front page of the El Paso Times this morning:

Train with chile slams into truck with onions

and it gets even better when the highlighted quote for the article is this gem:

'It would have made great salsa.' - N.M. police officer

How sad is it that someone's 15 minutes of fame would get used up saying something like that to a reporter? Forget about the trial of the century or even a career bust, this guy went to a T.A.


Sometimes the people in this area crack me up (the rest of the time I just wince).


Ahhhhhh.... I get it.

Oh well that's cool. I mean I can appreciate the logic to doing that although I have my doubts about how that'll play next to your standard front page fare (e.g. the Colorado fires). Still though it is cool to see the powers that be experimenting with things like that. I'd rather see folks trying new things than rigidly sticking by "the way it's always been done"

Oh, and I hope it didn't come across like I was ragging on the newspaper as much as just commenting on what appeared to be a particularly slow news day in our fair, bustling metropolis :

Re: Ahhhhhh.... I get it.

I often hear that our paper is boring and sometimes I can't help but agree

it's the news, it can't help but come off as a bit boring. I'm not putting down what you do by any means because as a writer, I view journalists as the grunts of the print world (quick deadlines, new stories daily, etc)... But i'm sure due to limited ammount of space and such, it's hardword to get your point across, meaning that it comes off as "just the facts" reading? (not like prose or such where you can sit and ellaborate to your heart's content (or an editors boiling point haha))

...the fun parts of the newspaper (for me) are the sports and living sections :oP (oh and the NYSE listing b/c my pitiful stock in WalMart is still doing decently) hahahaha And well, the living section could do a MUCH better job to help promote the local music, theatre and art scenes... quite a few things happen in el paso w/ very little mention in the EPTimes :o(

but hey, we've had an EPTimes subscription for as long as long as I can remember...and I still miss the Herald-Post in the afternoons hehe. I won't stop reading the EPTimes anytime soon

Re: Ahhhhhh.... I get it.

yaeh...i'm a huge football fan and a major stats-junkie...and even though I'll sit online and read stats, I love reading them in the paper too hehe... and I also like Joe Muench's columns hehe

Re: Ahhhhhh.... I get it.

Of course one thing to consider is that TV news shows have an edge in that they require no effort to enjoy. It's scary to realize how many people consider reading a chore (not to mention the fact that they have to buy the newspaper).

I mean, honestly, I prefer reading the paper to watching the news because I grew up with it in the house ever day and I can tell that you guys have the time to make sure you get things right (for the most part), but sometimes it does show that the paper knows that it's basically monopoly and can slack off a little bit on some things.

Even though the local TV news shows do tend to suck, since there are half a dozen of them in the city, you always get a sense that they're trying to outperform each other and that does make a difference.

Re: Ahhhhhh.... I get it.

Well, I grew up reading the paper with my dad in the mornings (he'd finish one section and pass it to me). Honestly the big things that I see with the paper now are:

Layout: It seems a bit too jumbled and haphazzard. I don't know if it's some sort of dynamic layout so that people don't get bored with things always in the same place, but it's kind of annoying when little things hop around from day to day during the week. The classifieds, comics, movie listings, they all seem to just get tossed in wherever they fit and that's mildly annoying. I also miss the small stories that used to run on the left column of section front pages. I know they're still there in some sections, but others like sports, borderland, and the front page don't have them.

I don't know, perhaps I'm in the minority here, but sometimes if I don't have the time to really sit down and flip through the paper, I still like looking at the front pages for each section and I'd rather see 4 or 5 little articles in the left column than some random edirotial piece. Editorial stuff is better inside where I'll get to it when I'm reading the paper from cover to cover. Heck, in all honesty, the story that I originally posted about could have easily been in one of those small spaces, it didn't need to take up that much space on the front page.

Content: Honestly, the Times seems to have less local content than most local papers that I've ever seen. Most folks that I've talked to find it odd that so many stories in the paper seem to come from the AP... even stories in living are often from other papers. Even something little like say top 5 movies in the nation vs El Paso would be kind of neat to see (it could even be for the previous week). Random little local statistics or facts would be interesting and those would probably also generate random discussion.

Dave mentioned it in his comments, there is very little solid coverage of local theatre, music, etc... Stuff like www.stantonstreet.com has the sort of local coverage that I would expect to see in the Times. The Times rarely mentions stuff like Shakespeare on the Rocks or Music under the Stars etc... For the last few years I've noticed that the only time long running El Paso productions get any sort of mention seems to be right around when they're closing up for the season.

Again, perhaps I'm in the minority, but I always thought that the local paper(s) should not only report the big newsworthy events but they should also be cheerleaders of sorts for the community. You know something that gets people interested in going out and about more and helps promote things to do around here.

So yeah, I hope that doesn't come across as too harsh or critical, I mean I read the paper just about every day and while I don't always get to read it cover to cover, I like most of the coverage that I see in it, but I also feel like some folks at the EP Times don't care too much about making it into a really top notch paper.

I mean, I read your articles and I read some of those from a few other folks and I'm impressed, but then I see fair number of stupid editorial mistakes (e.g. there vs their) or some strange content and layout decisions and I can't help but wonder if the problem is that there isn't enough input (e.g. "This is the way we do things, so deal with it if you don't like it") or if there is too much input (e.g. "Let's try to make everyone happy").

I guess it's also that I constantly hear about how there is nothing to do in El Paso or how El Paso is boring, and it almost feels like the Times buys into that to some extent. There have been some things that I've liked (like didn't the Times do some brief articles like "100 years ago today" or "this week"?), but it seems odd that I rarely come across really new of interesting local news or events in the paper and yet just wandering about town I constantly come across interesting little things that seem like they could or should be newsworthy.