It’s a great day for good journalism…or is it a good day for great journalism. Don’t care. Check out these stories from the front pages of some N.C. newspapers today.
Asheville — The Citizen-Times tackles a growing problem — a shortage of primary care doctors in Western North Carolina. “The demand for primary care is expected to grow as more people gain access to health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. The Association of American Medical Colleges projects the shortage of primary care doctors nationwide will reach almost 30,000 in two years.” To say nothing of an aging population. Scary. A story every paper could do for the community.
Charlotte— Cynics seem to think that newspapers do investigative series to win awards. The truth is newspapers investigate problems, with the goal that, in many cases, governments will address and fix the problems. In 2001, the Observer published a series about failings in the state medical examiner system that posed a threat to the public. The state largely disregarded it. Now, the Observer revisits the series. The shameful conclusion: “The inaction left the state vulnerable to faulty death rulings and shoddy investigations, and inhibited researchers’ ability to spot dangerous health threats.”
Wilmington and Hickory — You know I’m a sucker for stories that explain the effects of politics on the people. (Yes, I said “politics” and meant it, instead of saying “government.”) The Star-News looks at the GOP effort to repeal a law allowing public funds to pay for judicial races. It’s a terrible idea, opening the way for big money to influence the election of judges. The Record, meanwhile, used a North Carolina League of Municipalities report on the Senate’s version of tax reform to report on the budget proposal’s impact on towns in its area. It’s not pretty. Good journalism that, again, every paper in the state could use to help its readers understand what is happening in Raleigh.
Shelby — The Star examines an issue that plagues many N.C. cities not named Charlotte, Raleigh or Wilmington: an aging population and how to keep young people in town. But as I write this, it’s not posted.