My recent blog posts have focused on two unrelated topics -- the local manslaughter trial of Dr. James G. Corasanti and Warren Buffett's purchase of 26 daily newspapers. I'm planning to move on from these subjects (any minute now) but before I do, here are a couple of developments:
1. Corasanti. Our story ideas come from all over -- from sources on a beat, from editors, from brainstorming sessions, from reporters themselves and sometimes directly from our readers. After this week's stunning verdict -- the Getzville physician avoided all felony convictions related to the death of 18-year-old Alexandria Rice on July 8 -- Amherst reader Philip Wiggle offered this online coment:
"I think that most of Western New York would like to hear the WHY behind this verdict? Were the Prosecutors totally inept? Were the police at fault? Did the jury find the victim at fault? Can we get a follow-up explanation in the Buffalo News?"
Partially as a result of that comment, court reporter Patrick Lakamp is working on a story that will appear on Sunday's front page that addresses the "why" in the Corasanti verdict. It should be good reading. (Those interested in background on the case can visit the Corasanti topics page, where related stories, columns and photos from The News are gathered.)
2. Buffett. The Buffalo News chairman's recent purchase of 26 daily papers and his optimistic views about how local newspapers can find a workable business model came at the same time as the upsetting news that a major American newspaper would no longer publish daily. The Times-Picayune in New Orleans announced that it would offer its print edition only three days a week.
The contrast was sharp. Now, these two items come together as Buffett today responded to an open letter from a New Orleans musician suggesting that he buy the Times-Picayune. Buffett notes that there's a difference between a newspaper and a periodical, and considers three days a week an "unsustainable" option. "Optimists will note that Buffett did not say he would not buy the paper," writes Julie Moos of Poynter.org. Meanwhile, reports are circulating that Buffett is on the verge of buying more papers.
On the less serious side: Jim Romenesko's blog is practically required reading for journalists around the country. At one point today, his lead item, gathered from PR Daily, was a list of the decade's most irritating words and phrases, leading off with the immortal "It is what it is" and "think outside the box." This follows an earlier compilation of words and phrases journalists use but regular people don't. As Romenesko notes, don't miss the attached comments -- they're every bit as entertaining as the lists themselves.
Or should I say every bit as awesome?