Sunday sampler

I’m watching the News & Observer’s digital initiative with great interest, and anyone interested in the future of newspapers should, too. Last Monday, the N&O began its outstanding five-part series on jail deaths. I read it online throughout the week. And that gave me and other online visitors a six-day headstart on readers of the print edition.

The series started in the print edition today. And to get to the first story on the website, you have to search. But it’s worth the search. You can also find every report of every bad jail death. My guess is that the traffic the series generated is sizable. And I assume the paper is banking on readers of the print edition to either see it for the first time or not be bothered by the sense of “wait, I read this online last week.” (Me, it annoyed me that there is nothing on the front page of today’s paper to read because I’d read the jail story and I knew about the Charlottesville story already. But there are other things in the paper worth its newstand price.)

I hope the N&O is successful. It’s an important institution for all of N.C.

By the way, reporter Dan Kane, who has taken the slings and arrows of UNC fans for his excellent work writing about the athletic/academic scandal at the school, has done excellent work here, too.

Greensboro: How would you like it if a company wanted to put a rock quarry next to you? That’s what is facing some residents of rural Pleasant Garden in Guilford County. The News & Record looks at both sides — yes, there are pretty much just two sides. Interesting to see what the planning board does.

Wilmington: Something N.C. Democrats should be concerned about: Registered Republicans outnumber Democrats now in New Hanover County. “I think it’s more of an ideological trend and telling people they should register how they plan to vote and not just how they originally signed up,” (the chairman of the county Republican Party) said. “We also have a lot of volunteers out there knocking on doors and stopping people on the street.”

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