A mini-debate is raging on Buffalonews.com about The News' coverage of the story of the brawl involving State Sen. Mark Grisanti earlier this month at the Seneca Niagara Casino.
Some readers are disgusted: "How many times does the same story have to pass from reporter to reporter? My goodness, it may be a slow day at The Buffalo News but not the rest of the world," Philip James Jarosz wrote in one online comment.
Others are satisfied and remain interested: "It was clear during Margaret Sullivan's recent online chat that people wanted more in-depth information about this incident. The News is doing in-depth reporting. Many times they are accused of not doing that. Now they are accused of doing exactly that which they are supposed to do," wrote Norm Nicastro.
One thing is certain. The coverage and commentary is being well-read. Today's story about "the woman in the purple dress" and her appearance on the casino's security video is among the five best-read articles on the website. And Jeff Simon's column on turning the incident into a movie, in today's Life & Arts section, is causing plenty of chatter.
In yesterday afternoon's news meeting, the "Have we reached the point of overkill?" question arose among the assembled editors. Gene Warner's story on the security video was considered for the front page, and compared with the other possibilities, it seemed like a natural. However, aware that we had had a great deal of coverage in the past week, we made a decision not to place the story "above the fold," or put it in the lead news position. Instead, it has a modest presence, with a small headline, at the bottom of the page.
My sense is that many readers continue to be interested in this story, and we're continuing to pursue it energetically.
Meanwhile, we're putting a lot of emphasis this week on other subjects: suburban school budgets, the cost of returning traffic to Main Street, and the best way of funding the county's libraries. Grisanti is far from the only story in town.