Editor's weekly: The Washington angle
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 8, 2010 - We’re doubly excited about the Beacon’s recently announced plan to add a Washington correspondent.
The reporter will add breadth and depth to the Beacon’s already strong coverage of issues and politics that affect our region. And he or she will appear as well on St. Louis Public Radio in a new partnership. The Beacon’s goal is to reach people where they are in ways they find most useful and convenient, and this arrangement will help us deliver.
At a time when most news organizations have trimmed or eliminated their Washington bureaus, we see both a need and an opportunity to create one. Like it or not, what happens in Washington matters to us in St. Louis.
National policy shapes the economy, health care, security and other fundamentals of our lives. A good Washington correspondent explains what role St. Louis area officials and interests play in creating and implementing that policy, how St. Louisans are affected, who gains and loses and what problems remain unsolved.
Most survivors in the Washington press corps work for national organizations, and many travel in the pack chasing the hot story of the day. Meanwhile, other important topics and angles go uncovered, including many of special interest to St. Louisans.
During the 12 years I spent as part of the Post-Dispatch’s eight-reporter Washington bureau, I saw firsthand the opportunities for reporting on uncovered issues that matter to St. Louisans. Richard Weil, himself a veteran journalist and chairman of the Beacon board, also is passionate on this point.
Bill Lambrecht, the Post-Dispatch’s sole remaining presence in Washington, is a first-rate reporter, but he’s only one person. We’re thrilled that the Beacon will be adding a set of eyes and ears attuned to St. Louisans needs.