The phone conversation started out nicely enough. The caller said he was a big fan of the Tucson Weekly. Thanks, I responded.
"But ..." the caller said, before reaming me for not adequately covering the "indefinite-detention" bill, which was signed by President Obama in December.
The caller was right, in one sense: The bill is indeed worthy of media attention, because it's terrible. It codifies the ability for the federal government to indefinitely detain, sans charges, any U.S. citizen. That's bad. Very bad.
However, the silver lining here—although it's not much of one—is that the bill did get a lot of media attention. As of this writing, a Google search for the term "indefinite detention bill" brings back 1.5 million results.
This brings me to the point I tried to make to the caller, even though he was having none of it: With a few rare exceptions, the Tucson Weekly does not cover matters that are not specifically local.
Federal issues get covered by a plethora of other news sources, as those aforementioned 1.5 million results show. Therefore, we choose to dedicate our limited resources to local matters, because Southern Arizona issues don't get covered by a plethora of other news sources. Sure, we could have done a story on the indefinite-detention bill, and added one more story to the 1.5 million Google results, but that would have meant that something local—something very important that doesn't have 1.5 million Google hits—would have gotten short shrift.
Look at our four Currents stories this week. They involve the Congressional District 8 special election, the Oro Valley Town Council election, the mess that is the Tucson Unified School District, and a disturbing requirement that some UA contract-bidders donate big bucks to UA Athletics.
All local. All stories not getting a lot of coverage elsewhere. That's what we do.