Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Arizona Daily Star Outsources Arizona Political Reporting to the AP

Posted By on Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 12:07 PM

The Arizona Daily Star has been running a slogan recently (one we've poked some fun with our own house ads) claiming that they're "First. Best. Anytime. Anywhere", which is the sort of statement that sounds it was stolen from a newscast, but hey, it's an admirable goal for a journalistic outlet. After all, in a field where there is so much competition being timely, accurate and willing to go the distance for a story, that's what has value.

However, seeing the story "Questions on Giffords' recovery leave Dems empty for Senate run" on the bottom half of the front page today, I have a question: Can you be a daily newspaper in Tucson, wanting to be "first" and "best" and continue to farm out stories about Gabrielle Giffords, her recovery, and her political future to the Associated Press?

There's nothing wrong with the article, by Kevin Freking, a political reporter based out of Washington, DC who covers the thirteen states of AP's West Desk, but for a newspaper whose very existence is based on having value to local readers and subscribers wouldn't it make some sense for a local reporter to provide insight into a local politican's recovery and how it affects a statewide race? Freking might be a great guy, but I'd hope someone on the Star's staff has a better perspective on Arizona politics than a guy assigned to cover thirteen states.

Obviously, there might be more to this, since I don't have any particular insight into the working of the Star's newsroom, but I'd like to think as a media consumer that readers of the Star deserve a little more of the "best" they claim to offer.

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