I keep saying this because it is true. We live in an era of shrinking budgets and smaller staffs. It is the responsibility of a newspaper to use its budget and manpower in the most effective way possible. Covering a game far away that involves no teams from the Pacific North West in not an effective way to do that.
In fact, the focus The Times has on regional stories is evocative of a paradigm shift going on throughout the industry right now. Former major players in national news like the Dallas Morning News and the Boston Globe are now focusing their content regionally in an effort to control a piece of the market where there is little competition. Even the mighty Washington Post is moving in this direction under the guidance of new editor Martin Baron, who previously ran the Boston Globe.
Now obviously everyone would like to see original content from the Times on the game, but it makes no business sense to provide it when you can get excellent coverage from the AP wire. The newspaper's resources are put to much better use covering the grounding of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Unlike the Superbowl, this story has major implications for the Seattle area as the commercial division of the aerospace giant is based in Renton, Wa. That coverage, by the way, has been excellent so far.
Ultimately, its going to be tough to analyze The Times' coverage of national news events because they won't – and shouldn't – cover them with their own reporters. They do a fine job of picking the right stories to fill space and leading with news relevant to the Seattle area. Props should be given to Barry Wilner and Howard Fendrich though. They wrote the AP pieces that The Times was picking up and the stories were good. Once again, this just isn't The Times' thing.
Now without further ado, here is "Leon Sandcastle."