Tuesday, March 31, 2009

universal priorities.

maybe i should start putting "soap box" in the title of blogs that are nothing but a platform for me to fume or rant... maybe. we'll see.

anyway, this morning i didn't have a chance to grab breakfast before class, so i went to the student center to buy a banana and an orange juice. i grabbed a paper and sat down for a few minutes while i ate.'the voice of the brigham young university community' is the daily universe, the school paper. i understand that it is a student paper, and it's free, so you can't be too nitpicky. however, sometimes things can get out of hand.

north korea has been in the news a bit lately because it's had some rather aggressive statements concerning neighboring countries and its ability to launch missiles and so on and so forth. this has been going on for a few weeks. this post is not about north korea, though. this is about the daily universe, and the fact that, quoting a headline, "warships set sail ahead of north korean launch," made second page news while the cover featured "bike rules apply on byu campus," "motorcycles hold thrills and dangers," and "local owner build success." i don't mean to lower the importance of things happening on campus or in the community. but honestly, would it kill them to at least mention on the front page that a potentially hostile nation is apparently sending out preliminary warships? seriously. and it's not as if this is unusual--that's what gets me. to keep up with a general idea even of what's going on with the whole issue, you'd have to search in order to find the weekly half paragraph that's mentioned it for the last two weeks.

now to be fair, the front page also had one called "obama puts breaks on automakers" on the side. so they do make an effort to mention things of importance on the front. however, today's paper is more of the straw that broke the camel's back. other issues have been even more confusing in their priorities. a perfect example can be found here. while shootings (local and abroad) are interspersed throughout the paper, cupcakes have the front page priority. oh, excuse me, a cupcake craze coming to utah, i mean.

i suppose what it really comes down to is the reader. if the daily universe doesn't print what people want to read, people don't read it. but while i understand that some people do care about such a cupcake craze, i still can't grasp why it required a half-page photo and the title story of the entire issue. there was even an article on birthing techniques. we're at byu, surely many people would be more interested in that.

i spoke to a girl in my study group about this and she pointed out that she would buy a paper that "only printed stories about good things happening, because it would be refreshing." i can see value in this. i can also see how announcements and things in article form might be useful. however, it's supposed to be a newspaper. "news" being the keyword. while there is much news to print, surely some news has a bit more reason to be placed on the front cover. maybe i'm a cold-hearted grouch, but i'd rather hear about missile threats and national issues than cupcakes and the dangers of motorcycles. if nothing else, can we at least split the front page half and half?

anyway, that's my rant. my apologies if you really enjoyed the cupcake article, or wrote it, or decided it had the first page priority. it's nothing personal.
on the upside though, the daily universe does include that campus police beat, and that alone will keep me reading if nothing else.


  1. Amen about the police beat! And FYI all the broadcast people make fun of the print people next door. We (the Daily News, byu's broadcast news program that hardly anyone knows about unfortunately)covered the nuclear weapon launch the day before it was slated to happen, the day it happened, and the days following it- just so you know.

  2. impressive. broadcast just earned a few respect points in my book.