Janet I. Tu's piece on Monday showed the strength of The Times reporting.
In today's journalism world of shrinking newsroom budgets and even smaller staffs it is no surprise the The Seattle Times turned to AP articles for the majority of their coverage of President Obama's second inauguration. As was pointed out in the previous post, the Times is an excellent REGIONAL newspaper. They have neither the budget nor the ability to compete with the national news sources for coverage of a story like the inauguration of the president.

That doesn't necessarily mean that the coverage found on the website was bad. In fact, The Times did a very good job of picking things of the AP wire to satisfy the need of those turning to The Times for coverage over CNN or the Washington Post. In fact, with the exception of video the Times had everything a POTUS–watching 24–hour–news–cycle–junkie might ever want.

Let it not be said that because they used so many AP stories The Times didn't have any of its own coverage of the inauguration. On the contrary, there were a few articles that were able to connect the big event in Washington to the local Seattle community. One such article, written by Janet I. Tu, focused on the importance of having the first African American President inaugurated for a second time on the day honoring a man who did so much for the advancement of racial equality in the United States.

This kind of national news really isn't in the wheelhouse of a newspaper like The Times. While they do provide some national coverage, there is better national coverage from organizations that carve out their niche with national news. The Times is far more adept at covering the stories that are important primarily to the local Seattle community, and The Times should focus on these stories because they will be able to sustain a higher readership that way.

That being said, I was very pleased with how I was able to follow the inauguration from The Times website. The AP articles blended well with the local coverage of the event and MLK day. It was updated early and often, which is about all you can ask from what The Times was doing. I would call it a successful day for The Seattle Times.

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