Last Thursday, I wrote that given the choice between good content on Thanksgiving Day and good content on Sunday, I choose Sunday and that newspapers should do the same. Today’s front pages are the proof. Wire stories about female voters or intensely local stories. Nothing wrong with that, but also nothing to lifts them out of the ordinary. And what paper wants to be ordinary?
But there are two stories that piqued the interest of this passerby. Both have to do with the failure of government.
Raleigh— My friend Pat Stith won a Pulitzer Prize for his work on the waste and pollution produced by hog farms in Eastern North Carolina. The N&O revisits the issue years later. Things haven’t changed much. “Meanwhile, the conservative takeover of the legislature, he said, has resulted in cuts and reorganization among state regulators and reduced scrutiny of hog operations. In 2011, for example, the state stopped performing one of what had been two annual inspections at swine farms.”
Greensboro— My friend Amanda Lehmert hasn’t won a Pulitzer for her work on dilapidated housing yet, but she might. The N&R outlines lax enforcement by the city of Greensboro. “There are stories of disrepair and dilapidation all over Glenwood and other neighborhoods. City officials have legal tools to deal with unsafe houses. They can fine people who fail to fix blighted property. They do not. They can knock buildings down. They rarely do.”