Sunday sampler

The big story of the day were the protests — and violence — in America’s cities, and that includes several in North Carolina. In some cases, newspapers covered them well.

The protests were small and peaceful in Winston-Salem and in Morganton. “Saturday morning, more than 50 protesters gathered at the corner of Bost Road and North Green Street, at the site of the old K-Mart in Morganton in a stand of solidarity against police brutality. A diverse mix of demonstrators — white, black, young and old — met for hours and waved signs. ”

Things weren’t so peaceful in Greensboro, Raleigh and Charlotte.

Greensboro: “What started out as peaceful protests turned into a riot late Saturday as people threw rocks into downtown store fronts. Dudley Beauty, Vivid Interiors and Green City Goods on South Elm Street were among shops with shattered windows. Some people broke into shops and carried out items. Some people have been stomping on civilian cars.”

Raleigh: “The event started peacefully, with protesters singing and chanting throughout downtown, but within an hour after the crowd began marching, police released tear gas and pepper spray. Protesters threw fireworks, rocks and water bottles at police and vandalized several downtown businesses. At least one protester was arrested, a Wake County sheriff’s office spokesman said.”

Charlotte: Sorry, but I’m out of free access to the Observer so I can’t quote the story, but the link works so that you can.

But…

One of the problems with planning the Sunday paper is that news doesn’t care what your plan is. The result is that readers wake up and see protests and riots occurring across the country. But they look at the front page of their papers and see what was planned days earlier.

That’s what happened in Burlington, Hendersonville, Wilmington, Jacksonville, and Asheville when the papers, which are part of Gannett, published a syndicatewide series titled Rebuilding America. “Stories debuted on Gannett-owned digital sites yesterday and will appear in print editions on May 31 with a nationwide narrative of what consumers, companies and taxpayers can expect as the American economy begins to accelerate again.”

All of the syndicate’s stories are here. It appears as if some of the stories may be localized, but it’s difficult to tell because they aren’t easy to find on the papers’ websites.

On the other hand, Jacksonville, New Bern and Kinston published a version of the story that was localized to some extent. Again, I can’t find it on their websites. One front is below, courtesy of the Newseum:

Fayetteville also has a piece written by Myron Pitts, its opinion editor, that is focused on Fayetteville. Again, it’s not on the website, which, by the way, is unsearchable.

The thing is, the stories that I read were all good and forward-looking. But if there were protests — as there were in Fayetteville — readers had to look elsewhere.