The Omaha World Herald’s Erin Grace has a column on the sequester and its impact on the FPD for the District of Nebraska in today’s edition. It is a nice piece of writing. It tells a story while also educating the lay reader why he or she should care about such things.
The OWH is one of the few remaining “old school” newspapers. Perhaps because it is employee-owned, the paper still devotes a lot of time and money to hiring great writers to generate fresh copy. They are given the time to research and write about a wide range of subjects.
There are three “metro” columnists at the OWH. Erin’s colleagues, Mike Kelly and Mathew Hansen are equally good writers. Although I don’t know these three well, I know them well enough to say that they are funny, smart, objective, and tough-minded. What’s more they turn out high quality material at remarkable pace. I marvel at their skill and productivity.
I am glad to be in a market where there remains vibrant local newspapers. Electronic media like blogs are great, but consistently good writing by people with seasoned judgment remains a fixture at traditional newspapers. How I wish there were more.
PS Many years ago, Dave Thompson was a OWH writer who covered the courts in the Eighth Circuit. When I was a law clerk, Dave scooped the Wall Street Journal, on a very high-profile business case, with national and international implications, that had been argued on an emergency basis in Omaha. He got the scoop because the judges trusted Dave’s judgment and integrity. But, Dave was not in the “tank” for anyone. He could be a pain in the butt. For example, he figured out where the grand jury held its meetings in the old federal building in Omaha. He would hang out in the hallway to see who went in and came out. This so annoyed the United States Attorney, that a special wall was built to shield Dave from seeing again what he had seen before. If I remember correctly, the structure became known as the “Dave Thompson wall of shame.”