Jan 20, 201310:45 PM
The Editor's Room
Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde
The Times-Picayune Fiasco: Nagin Case Shows Why We Need a Saturday Paper
Last week provided a stellar example of why we need a Saturday newspaper. The Friday indictment of Ray Nagin was a perfect day-after newspaper story. There were many details involved in the 21 counts of the indictment. A newspaper, read in the leisure of a Saturday morning, would have provided an opportunity to explore them.
Now the Newhouses will say we could have read it all on NOLA.com, but it is not the same thing. Websites are good for quick reads but not for examining in detail. Broadsheet newspapers are far superior for laying out the many angles of a story.
There was comprehensive coverage in the Sunday T-P, but by then the story was two days old. The T-P has talented reporters, such as Gordon Russell, whose work would have been an anticipated must-read had there been a Saturday paper.
This will happen again with future indictments. (Many tend to come down on Fridays.) We’re also being denied day-of campaign coverage for Saturday elections as well as weekend sports news. (I wonder if attendance at various activities, such as Hornets games or theater performances, are being hurt by there being no paper on the day of an event.)
Curiously, New Orleans was the only major city where residents could not read about Nagin in a locally published Saturday paper. The story was distributed by all the news services; including AP, Bloomberg and Reuters, and appeared in Saturday papers throughout the country.
Fortunately there is The Advocate. Its Saturday edition is becoming more important every week.
Krewe: The Early New Orleans Carnival-Comus to Zulu by Errol Laborde is available at all area bookstores. Books can also be ordered via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or (504) 895-2266.
WATCH INFORMED SOURCES, FRIDAYS AT 7 P.M., REPEATED AT 11:30 P.M.WYES-TV, CH. 12.