EDITORíS DESK: Killing with kindness (a thing to avoid)
I can see how a a split personality could develop, the way we're doing things now at the Westside Pioneer, publishing online and in print.
Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. It's kind of fun, in a way all its own. What can cause the mental ship to veer off course is the different sets of rules each format presents. Print, as we often hear, gives readers the chance to hold the news in their hands. The main downside is that there's only so much space. Yes, we do try to provide "all the news that's fit to print," but its neighboring adage is never avoidable: "All the news that fits."
Now, online, a writer can careen forever with verbose ramblings - which I'm told is bad - plus the number of graphics is limitless, and every one of them can be in color (no extra charge in the world of pixels).
Still, I miss the opportunity that exists in print to provide, for want of a better term, a sense of proportion. For instance, our main story on the "OK to Say No" signs starts on Page 1; meanwhile, the OWN column on Page 6 talks about it too (because Welling Clark is the leader of that effort through OWN and the ATF). So, it seems like a service to the reader to jump the Page 1 story to Page 6, so the two stories can be neighborly with each other.
But I'd like to get back to that space thing - because there are times in the print world when a writer - verbose rambler or not - could really use a little more room to get a point across. And yes, I've been guilty of that online more than once. But here in the print world, with its finite space, I usually prefer just to stay in this little corner of mine because as a rule there's a ton of straight news that I'd rather leave room for.
So in the space I have left (and with the two "personalities" merging at last), here's a big OK for those "OK to Say No" signs. Let's not mix up panhandlers with "homeless." Giving them handouts is almost literally killing with kindness. If they're so bad off, charities are eager to help. Besides, not to sound old- fashioned, but workers in this town are so scarce sometimes that we have to import labor. Get a job! Just saying...