Even though I have interned at a small weekly newspaper, the thought that journalists at large daily newspapers like the New York Times are actually less busy than their local counterparts had never crossed my mind until I read the stories of Scott Byers and Susan Page. Byers, from the N’West Iowa Review, and Page, USA Today, seemed to have such differing experiences that I gained a new respect for “small town” journalists. While Byers commented on having to write upward of 100 stories a week during peak sports seasons, Page’s busiest weeks have included merely three or four articles.
Page’s and Byers’ stories, combined with the judgment exercise on which news stories would be picked up by each venue, helped me to better understand the purpose of each news source. I got most of the answers correct, but my biggest mistake was underestimating the material that could be included in a tabloid. One of the stories, for example, was about a local college student claiming that tattoos lower one’s IQ. The mention of a local made me think that the website for the daily paper, the radio station for the university, and the weekly community paper would be interested in the story, rather than a national tabloid. However, because there is no substantial research or evidence, and because a student made the claim rather than a respected professional, only the tabloid is interested in the subject.