Tag Archives: Flower potty toilet Oak Ridge

Was flower potty a Page 1 story?

toilet1_t607.jpgThe hot debate at Wednesday’s news meeting was whether to make a story about a toilet/planter the front page centerpiece of Thursday’s paper. The article and accompanying photo described Oak Ridger William Terry;s fight with city hall over whether he could use an old commode as a flower pot in his front yard. He’d been cited for “accumulation of rubbish” and was disputing the citation.
Some of our editors thought the story was too trivial and juvenile to feature on Page 1. Others thought it was interesting and raised public policy questions involving property rights and individual liberty. Also, the photo was better than any other choice we had. I went with story because I believe the newspaper risks making itself dull by being too cautious, and I thought the story would resonate with readers.
It did. It was one of our most popular online articles today, attracting 77 comments as of this writing (almost of which were entirely civil). Among the comments, though, was an exchange about whether or not the story’s play was appropriate:
Joevol72#336723: “Wait wait wait…. THIS is front page news worthy?!”
AuntTilly: “Yes, it is. The article is interesting and informative. Why did you read it?”
Joevol72#336723: I read it because it was on the front page, not because it was newsworthy. With all that COULD have been front page news this morning, this doesn’t deserve to be.”
News judgment is not a science.