Published January 25, 2006
Big local news, timing of assisted suicide ruling kept it off A1
It was gratifying to read in the Jan. 18th issue of The Olympian that the U.S. Supreme Court had rejected the Bush administrations's attempt to block the Oregon law of the right of a person who is dying slowly to a doctor's advice and aid to allow them a peaceful and quick death...I was surprised, though, that The Olympian did not carry the court's decision on the front page...did you not consider it of major importance? -- Olinda Corin, OlympiaExecutive Editor Vickie Kilgore The Olympian published the news of the Supreme Court decision immediately on our Web site. The decision was announced in the morning so it was on our site all day and received much attention in the national media. By the following day, we felt that the news had been out almost 24 hours and did not merit front-page treatment. There was fresher material on other topics that won out for the front page that day -- news, for example, of Tumwater and Olympia considering merging fire departments, and coverage of a forum organized buy The Olympian on solutions to medical malpractice issues.However, we did give the Supreme Court decision prominent display on page 3A and included supplemental information about similar proposed legislation in our state and a link online to the full text of the court's decision.Many days we have more information vying for the front page than space can accommodate. At our daily afternoon news meeting editors assess which stories should get front page placement based on the importance and urgency of the news and the interests of our readers. We've learned about those interests from market research and reader panels. Local content typically gets priority because that is information our readers can find nowhere else.