Big news happened in Joplin Thursday and it made page one of the Joplin Globe, purportedly the city's newspaper.
Five residents had to be taken to the hospital and two firemen were treated for dehydration after a fire at the Mayflower Apartments. Thursday night's news was less urgent, but an important part of Joplin life nonetheless...businessman Hal Roper was named Citizen of the Year by the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, other businesses were honored and four top teachers received the Golden Apple Awards.
The way the stories were played give no doubt that the Globe considers itself a regional paper and has no particular interest in playing up important stories in the community in which the greatest number of its subscribers live.
Both of the top stories in this morning's edition were from Neosho. Admittedly, both were important stories. Staff writer Linda Greer covered the civil trial of a family which is suing the Neosho R-5 School District for wrongful death after a six-year-old boy was run over by a school bus. The other story, written by Andy Ostmeyer, concerned a visit to the federal fish hatchery in Neosho by federal officials.
The fire story was placed beneath the lawsuit, barely above the fold, while the Chamber story is at the bottom of the page, running beneath the other stories I have mentioned, plus a Cherokee County, Kan., article.
Again, as I have pointed out numerous times on this blog, the placement of stories is the way a newspaper shows what it considers to be important. Close to half of today's page one is devoted to the fish hatchery story and photos. When it comes to Joplin, apparently it's not such a big deal to the Joplin Globe.
Is it any wonder the Joplin Daily, even with its numerous flaws, has been so readily accepted by the local community? Joplin readers want to know that their newspaper considers them to be their number one priority. Clearly, the Globe has different priorities.