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BLOG: What’s our role in covering history?
BLOG: What’s our role in covering history?

BLOG: What’s our role in covering history?

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Over the years, I’ve received plenty of complaints about our failure to have stories in the newspaper about the anniversary of important historical events.

Over the years, I’ve heard complaints about the Kennedy assassination, the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, the battle for Okinawa and the Battle of the Bulge. But none receives more attention than Pearl Harbor.

As a local newspaper, we are always on the lookout for local angles to these stories, but as the years go by, it gets more and more difficult to find those local angles. In recent years, it is not unusual for one of our editors to get a complaint that we had nothing in the newspaper on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

I’ve always thought that was a bit unfair, since the actual ceremonies commemorating the attack don’t occur until Dec. 7. It is not unusual for us to have a story in the newspaper on Dec. 8. We rarely see any local organization commemorating the event either. We are then accused of forgetting the anniversary or being unpatriotic. I tell the angry readers if they have an angle for the story, we would be happy to follow up and do it.

That said, this Pearl Harbor day – Saturday – we have a rare embarrassment of riches. We have a couple of locally-produced stories on the anniversary – I recent visited the Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor – as well as one from reporter Don Lehman.

The Associated Press also contributed a story that moved earlier this week. We hope to get them all published in some form.

Pearl Harbor happened 78 years ago. Those that weren’t alive then do still remember the event, including those that work here at the newspaper, but that doesn’t mean we have a story about it.

Ken Tingley is the editor of The Post-Star and may be reached via email at tingley@poststar.com.  His blog  “The Front Page” discusses issues about newspapers and journalism. You can also follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kentingley.

 

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