Is There Room for Local in Washington Times 3.0?
With big layoffs ahead at the post-Reverend Sun Myung Moon Washington Times, Executive Editor David Jackson laid out his plans for "Washington Times 3.0" in a newsroomwide memo this afternoon. Many of Jackson's ideas, first reported by Fishbowl D.C., won't be a stretch for the paper: becoming "digital first," developing more libertarian and Tea Party columnists. But Jackson's plan for local reporting doesn't seem as bright.
"In our local coverage, we will favor stories about local issues put in a national context, so that our online audience from California to Florida will also find them informative and useful," Jackson writes. In other words: Local better be national.
How many of the current top stories in the paper's local section would fit into that mold? It's hard to see the Floridian or Californian Times reader thrilling to news about reduced probation requirements in Maryland or a D.C. speed camera case, while stories about fear of the number 13 and David Gregory's ammo woes would probably be more popular. In other words, a national focus might not be great for hard news.
At least local columnist Deborah Simmons seems to have gotten the proverbial and literal memo. One of her recent columns lamented D.C. politics' lack of Republicans.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery.