Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The state's paper of record (at least, the daily paper in the state's most populous area) recently published an article on the controversy I complained about here. Since they have covered the topic much less than I, the article on it is much more of a general overview, but the hook of its story is a site visit on Monday morning, which I went to as well. I expected the visit was only for information and a better understanding of the situation, but I was asked afterwards to write about it, so I did.

But my story was not usable, my editor said. I'm hoping he doesn't notice the other story, at least not for a few days, especially since it's written by a freelancer who works for him sometimes.

And yet, I'm really not bothered about being upstaged. Partly because things really are going well here otherwise. Also, partly because it's comparing apples and oranges. The site visit Monday was a time when all the main actors were in one place, so it was useful for an article, but no actual news was generated. Instead, the linked article covered the ongoing controversy, and happened to use the visit to get perspective and a face-to-face talk with people. But as for me, I covered the attempt to change the plan and the meeting last month and I'm going to the one in a couple weeks and everyone's still waiting for a court date, so if I wrote a news article about Monday's visit, there would have been nothing new in it.

So instead, I wrote a detailed description of the site. I didn't actually know much about it, so we figure most other people don't either. How do you get there, where can it be seen from, what will it look like after the project has started, etc. My story wasn't in the first person, but it might as well have been. Neither the tour nor my written account of it seemed much like my boss expected, but it was still pretty good — the ways it wasn't what he expected were not a matter of me forgetting to include X, it's just that Y is what people really cared about — and I think the article turned out to be pretty informative.

But not actually newsworthy, apparently. So, oh well. He thought there would be news material here, but there wasn't, unless some cleverly phrased cutting remarks in an ongoing feud qualify. This article won't get published, but my future articles on the subject will be able to be much more detailed. And... that's it.

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