Friday, March 17, 2006

It's appalling!

In my job at the Telegraph Herald, I regularly receive calls, letters and e-mails from readers on subjects large and small. There are complaints and compliments -- more of the former than the latter, but that's generally true in life, isn't it?

The most interesting complaint of the week came from a long-time (50-plus years) subscriber who described herself as a sports fan. However, she made it perfectly clear that she objects to our running a sports photo on Page 1A (as we did after Bellevue Marquette's quarterfinal victory in the state tourney).

My explanation that, when it is tourney time, the fortunes of the local basketball team is community news, was unconvincing. So too with my point, in response to her observation that there are so many important things going on in the world, that a photo of local young people on Page 1A can provide a respite from the gloom and doom of world events.

My caller described our practice of front-page display of sports photos, which is followed by newspapers around the country, as "appalling."

"And," she added, "they are not even from Dubuque."

Unfortunately, I guess she will have to be appalled only a few more days this season. The Iowa, Wisconsin and Northern Iowa teams' first-round exits have seen to that.

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