With Leaders Like These ...

A couple of random, unrelated ponderings ...

· I got this e-mail from a reader last week, verbatim:

"I know you are the editor and all, but could you stop writing the restaurant reviews. Poorly written, uninformed, embarrassingly bad."

My response:

"How are they poorly written, uninformed and embarrassingly bad? Give me some examples, and I'll gladly consider it."

I haven't heard back from the reader yet.

Of course, now that I've shared this delightful story with you, I am sure numerous folks will write in with examples. Oh boy.

· I'll let you in on a little secret: We editors, on occasion, will use slight exaggerations to boost our newspaper and its reporters. It's shameless self-promotion. Y'know.

But there are slight exaggerations, and there's pure insanity. And I fear Tucson Citizen Editor and Publisher Michael Chihak may be going a bit nuts.

Several weeks ago, the Arizona Press Club announced its 2005 award winners, and the Citizen won a much-deserved four awards, all first-place honors. In his May 13 column, Chihak touted the honors, by four of his staffers, writing: "These four staff members are big parts of our justification for saying that the Citizen is Tucson's leader for local news coverage." Wha?

Let's give this some perspective. The Tucson Citizen comes out six times a week and has 70 or so people in its newsroom. That newspaper won four Arizona Press Club awards.

The Tucson Weekly comes out, well, once a week, and has five people in its newsroom (two of those part-time), in addition to 25-30 freelance regulars. Eight of our folks won 14 Arizona Press Club awards (although only two of those were first-place honors).

'Nuff said?

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