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Dana Robbins

Interesting debate.
And I can't honestly say I disagree with anything I've seen posted here.
If I could offer, however, a single observation. We shouldn't view each and every decision/story as emblematic of a larger trend or issue. Sometimes a cigar really is just a cigar.
We have decided to not staff THESE Olympics. That decision was made in the context of what else is currently on our plate, how much of a 'local' story these Olympics offer, what 'unique' content we could bring to the table...and the budget.
The decision at the next Olympics may very well - will probably - be very different.
I offer this observation only because I think that our natural inclincation (I'm guilty, too) to always turn up the volume - to make every decision that we think is wrongheaded somehow illustrative of a larger problem - sometimes makes it difficult to have a meaningful discussion.
Ultimately, the Learning Newsroom environment we are trying to foster should enable us to have these discussions, recognizing that all participants have the best interests of our readers and the Spec at heart.
I said one observation. I'm going to sneak in another.
There is no question that the envelop of content we deliver to our readers has evolved. And, I believe, it will continue to do so. For those of you who remember the all-day strat planning sessions from 2001 & 2002, it's about competitive differentiation. In English, are we providing content that our readers can not get anywhere else? I think that is the question we have to ask ourselves about everything we do.

Nicole MacIntyre

I agree it’s smart to invest our resources in delivering unique stories, but I also think we should be at major world events involving Hamiltonians to give our readers the local stories that matter. I’ve been watching the Record lately as they’ve traveled across Canada to profile local athletes preparing for the Olympics. Each profile has run on the front page with stunning portraits. They’re also sending a reporter to the Olympics to tell local tales. I’m worried we won’t be able to offer our readers the same level of in-depth coverage and that’s a shame. Depending on the wire for coverage is a slippery slope, I hope we do it wisely.

Daniel Nolan

I'm very dismayed that for the first time I can recall we are not sending someone to the Olympics. I thought it said something about our muscle that we would send someone to the games and he/she would tell us stories about local athletes competing there. OK, we've got the big stories - Somalia, Drive Clean, etc. But, we've pulled in our horns on a lot of fronts - District, Queen's Park, Ottawa, suburbs - and now add the Olympics. The wires and Toronto papers don't pay any attention to Hamilton issues outside of Hamilton, and I predict at the games we'll be calling over to Italy at all hours of the day and night trying to track down athletes and officials for interviews. Why not have someone there and wave the Spectator flag? And wave the flag in front of our readers to let them know The Spectator is there looking for and telling them Hamilton tales from the world's largest sporting event. I think it was a bad decision to cancel sending a reporter to the games, but it's not too late to make the right decision.

Scott Gardner

I agree that we need to provide readers with a uniquely local vision of the world but perhaps that is best done covering stories that would not otherwise appear in our paper. An event such as the Olympics is saturated with wire coverage (and in our case Toronto Star coverage) We pay big bucks for this so why not let them do what they do best for us? We should use the money that we would spend on such events to cover stories that would not appear in the paper if we didn't write and photograph them.The Spec is still going to have tons of coverage of the Olympics whether we are there or not. The reader still gets the information about the games.There was no wire coverage of the refugee camp in Kenya that Cathie and Wade visited. If we didn't go there would be nothing in the Spec.Spending money on this type of story telling makes more sense in my mind.Save the big events for the wires and use the money we save covering the smaller stories with bigger local interest wherever they may be in the world and give the readers something that no one else is giving them.

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