Why did you cover that stupid story?

I had to share this exchange between a reader and me. It’s in response to a story I wrote about a cat that was lost at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The cat jumped out of a cage as it was being unloaded and escaped in a secure area of the airport. The airline (at the time the story was reported) wouldn’t let the owner go back to help find the cat because then the terrorists would win, or some such silliness.

So the story ran and a reader sent this letter to the wrong e-mail address. Today, realizing the error, the reader sent the e-mail to the correct e-mail address. Here’s the letter:

Subject: Your story

I am absolutely appalled!  Since when is a lost kitten news?!  Not only is it in the Local section, but it is highlighted on page 2 of the main section!!  Are there any standards for value of a story?  This story takes up more space than “offshore drilling.”  Is this indicative of the mentality of your average reader?  Please explain this to me.  Thank you. 

And my reply:

I just got this today.

I try not to compare the space one story gets to the space another story gets unless I get a vote in placement or space. They tell me to write 200 words, I write 200 words. And my bosses say where it goes, not me.

For my part, I’m not so interested in a lost kitten as I am in an airline that loses something precious to a passenger coupled with a bureaucracy that won’t let people do their utmost to resolve the situation. That, along with the fact that the lost item is a living thing, is interesting to enough readers that I’ve had more e-mails and phone calls on this subject than I get on most stories I write.

Again, I’m not defending giving this story more space than another story, or giving this story more prominent play than another story. Just saying that it was interesting enough to get a lot of reader feedback (including, I hate to remind you, yours).

Thanks for writing.

Epilogue: the cat’s still lost, but the owner has been able to get back into the secure area, with an airline employee. The cat’s name is Rocky. She’s the one on the right. If you find her, let me know.

Published by Olmeda

At-large director on the national board of the Society of Professional Journalists. Former president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and of UNITY: Journalists of Color. An extreme moderate, not committed to political ideology. Stepfather to two wonderful daughters. Father to two wonderful sons. Husband. Rogue karaoke singer. Humanist

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Yes, I Will Marry You

“No two couples are alike. No two ceremonies should be.” — Rafael Olmeda

Two-Cult Survivor

It's never too late to break free

Im ashamed to die until i have won some victory for humanity.

Domenic Garisto / LIFE IS NOT A REHERSAL,SO LIVE IT..if you can't be the poet, be the poem..havau22.com

The Honking Goose

something to honk about

Samuel Job Mashariki Carrasco

Call to me and I will answer you...

Captured by Film

Old cameras and taking pictures on film.


This site is all about ideas

Diary of a Real Estate Junkie

One man's obsession with real estate, land use, design, construction & the results.

William E. Lewis Jr. - Bill Lewis - Vero Beach, Florida

William E. Lewis, Jr. & Associates - (772) 324-6400


An independent voice you can depend on to do what's right for the Society of Professional Journalists

Friendly Atheist

An independent voice you can depend on to do what's right for the Society of Professional Journalists

The Adobo Chronicles

Your best source of up-to-date, unbelievable news.

Godless Mom

An independent voice you can depend on to do what's right for the Society of Professional Journalists

The Buttry Diary

Steve Buttry, Dearly Departed Husband, Father and Grandfather. Former Director of Student Media, LSU's Manship School of Mass Communication

%d bloggers like this: