Published June 08, 2006
Time dictated play of al-Zarqawi killing vs. officer refusing to deploy
What were you people thinking? Al Qaida's number one terrorist in Iraq and number two in the organization is killed by U.S. forces and you bury the story. Instead you run a story on the lieutenant who decides that he is a coward. You missed the boat on this one. The Constitution guarantees a free press, try harder to make it a fair one. -- Mike DeCapua, USAF Lt. Col (retired), SheltonExecutive Editor Vickie Kilgore: The first confirmation of the report of the death of Al-Qaida leader al-Zarqawi was received at 12:45 a.m. this morning in a story by The Associated Press. That was only minutes before our last deadlines for press start. The Olympian was the only newspaper in the area to publish the report immediately in the day's first editions. Our news editor pulled back a page that was ready to be printed and substituted the Zarqawi story for another one on page 4A. She later updated the headline. Quick work allowed us to include the report in all copies of today's paper. In the few minutes we had before press start, we were unable to remake the front page, a more time-consuming process, but we did include a brief item in bold type to alert readers to the full story inside. The story on the Fort Lewis officer and his decision to refuse to deploy to Iraq is extremely important and also merited the front page. It is a local story and a national one. As a local newspaper, our primary mission is to deliver local content that readers will unlikely find elsewhere. However, we also give front page attention to major national and international stories -- and if time had been on our side, the Zarqawi news would have had more presence on A1.