I occasionally listen to a local radio station based in Seattle called, "107.7 The End." It's easily the station I set my dial to the most for the music I enjoy (do they even make cars with tuning dials anymore?). One particular program however, "The Church of Lazlo," begins every day with the current total numbers of U.S. casualties. The reason for this is because the host (and station program director, Lazlo) feels that this statistic should be on the front page of every newspaper, magazine and web site until the war in Iraq is over. The following is my list of reasons why I feel this statistic does not belong on the front page of anything.
- After 5 years of war and casualties, it is already assumed by everyone that people are losing their lives over there.
- No one likes war and no one wants to a buy a newspaper or magazine that is exclusively featuring this war or the fatalities that are resulting from it.
- A number is not a good news story. A captivating story about a soldier's life and legacy left behind is a good news story.
- Until the number reaches more than Vietnam or World War II, as tragic as it is, it isn't astonishing.
So what do I suggest does qualify for a lead news story about the war? Anytime we make real progress toward bringing our troops home and resolving this war. That's the newsworthy story I'm hoping for.