1. Why aren't the headlines the same as those in the original sources? Sometimes the headlines link back to reprinted articles. An Associated Press story in the Houston Chronicle, for example. Often, the Chronicle's headline is not the same because the headline writer thinks he has come up with a better one; that is, one that explains the topic better, or one that will capture the reader's attention better, or even one that reflects local interest or attitude better. The Chronicle's headline might tie into the headline of another story on the same page or in the same section. Sometimes, a headline is written to satisfy a difference in graphics, or simply to save or expand upon the space provided. In turn, Bush Watch might change the Chronicle's headline for the same reason the Chronicle changed the AP's.
2. What about original headlines in the Chronicle? You sometimes change them. Sometimes for one or more of the same reasons noted above.
3. But sometimes your headline does not give me a good idea of the scope of the article. Sometimes there's an article, say, on all the GOP presidential candidates and your headline's just about something Bush did or said. I go to that article and I have to search for what turns out to be a paragraph buried in the middle of the story. Why do you do that? For the same reason I don't write commentaries on the other candidates. This is Bush Watch, not Bauer Watch, so I try to focus my attention on Bush as much as possible. Sometimes that means I headline a passage about Bush in a story that's not focused on Bush. I'll only do that when I think readers would be interested in what's in that paragraph and I don't think it's discussed elsewhere
4. A few of your headlines are about other candidates or just issues. Why do you include those? If a story is about, say, Bush and Gore, I'll head it with something about "Gore-Tex." Or if, say, Bush and McCain are carrying on a battle about taxes, I might include a McCain story that helps to clarify what Bush is saying about him. On rare occasions, I'll post a story on a topic, not a candidate, such as an environmental report. I see such postings as background to an on-going story about Bush.
5. What about one of your headlines on, say, Bush and the environment? I go to the story and find it's on Bush and taxes. Sometimes the media is focused on one topic to the exclusion of all others, like Bush and drugs or the Bush-McCain battle about taxes. When that happens there's little sense in posting all of the articles from the various sources essentially saying the same things. So I post one or two of the best and ignore the redundant rest, unless there's something unique in a particular unposted piece. In such cases I'll write a headline that calls attention to that unique part of the story, even though the original headline or the first paragraph lead doesn't indicate it. For example, while a story in the SAEN treated Bush on taxes on the same day that many other sources did, the last few paragraphs broke the story about Bush discussing states' rights and the confederate flag near former slave quarters on a Southern plantation. The rest of the media picked up on that story a day later.
6. Your site is no longer truly "Bush Watch," because a minimum of 20-30% of the headlines every day are Gore-related. Considering you already have a link to a "Gore Watch" site, I fail to see the point in including these headlines under Bush Watch. I go to this site because it's supposed to be about Bush, and that's what I expect to find when I visit the site. That has not been the case recently. If I want to read about Gore, I'll go to Gore Watch. Please try to keep the site focused on what it was originally designed to do.
Thanks for your note, I understand the point you're making, and someday I may decide to have the Gore headlines only on Gore Watch. However, even today's percentages favor Bush, not Gore. I have posted 15 stories so far today, and have only posted two of those stories at Gore Watch. When Bush takes off for a day, like last Wednesday, there probably will be more Gore headlines. With respect to Gore Watch, the only way I have the time to edit that site is to duplicate the Gore headlines from Bush Watch to Gore Watch , since so many deal with both Bush and Gore (Gore-Tex). Of course, I would like to think that you come to the site each day to read the features and commentary, as well, and that part of the site is still totally Bush. If you know of a site that has more stories on Bush on a daily basis, please let me know. It isn't as though I'm ignoring Bush stories to include Gore stories. Six months ago I averaged 10 Bush stories each day. Now, it's 15. Further, the Gore stories are after the Bush stories, so just stop when you get past the Gore-Tex stories.
to be continued...
Your input is appreciated. Politex
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