2003-04-05 / Editorial/Opinion

What’s News Is Often In The Eyes Of The Beholder

What’s News Is Often In The Eyes Of The Beholder

What is news? It seems an easy question to answer, but for those of us who must deal with it on a daily basis, it is never easy. The old saw, "when a dog bites man, it is not news, but when a man bites dog, it is big news," is often true. The usual is not news, the unusual often is. If only it were that easy. The task of deciding what goes into the pages of The Wave each week is made easier by the fact that we cover a finite community, Rockaway and Broad Channel. Every story we do has a community "hook," or at least a connection to our community. Within that stricture, however, there is a lot of latitude. We often anger our readers when we step outside what they consider to be that stricture. When we covered the local angle on the Catholic Church scandal, utilizing a picture of a local church as "art," we were excoriated as being anti-Catholic. When we printed a story of three young Orthodox Jewish men for harassing some Catholic girls, we were excoriated for being anti-Semitic. When we covered any number of suicides in the community, including the latest one in Belle Harbor, we were excoriated for being "insensitive." When we covered the downfall of a prominent local firm due to its price-fixing activities and theft of millions of dollars from the city, we were excoriated for being both anti-business and anti-west end. When we say something good about the police, we are excoriated for being "pro-cop." When we run a negative story about the police, we are accused of being "pro-criminal." When we run a story about crime in the east end, we are accused of being "racist." We are none of those things, and those appellations do not matter to us because they are to be expected. We will continue to do what we do best, what we have done for nearly 110 years. We will gather the news – all the news – and bring it to you in a clear and concise manner. That is our role in the community, and we will continue to do it despite the name-calling and the angry phone calls. What is the news? Read The Wave and find out.

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