Why this is not a good front page for the Florida Times-Union

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The distance between Jacksonville and Tallahassee is approximately 164 miles, yet to Jax’s paper of record, the Florida Times-Union, the state capital might as well be in another country.

That is, at least going by today’s front page. On it are two important stories: one about Governor Rick Scott and Senator Bill Nelson “fight(ing) for VA answers”; the second about the “state’s redistricting trial reach(ing) Supreme Court.”

Again, two intriguing stories about state politics. But check the bylines for those two stories, they’re “From News Services” and “From Wire Services.”

Why are these two stories, both of which originate from Tallahassee, from wire services and not a Florida Times-Union reporter? The immediate answer is that FTU has not replaced Matt Dixon, the reporter who covered capital politics for the newspaper. Dixon left almost three months ago for the Naples Daily News. Why has it taken FTU so long to replace him?

There’s no good answer to that question, just as there is no good explanation for why a major Florida newspaper is relying on wire services for two of the four stories on its front page.

Tallahassee is only a two-and-half hour drive from Jacksonville. The editors at the Florida Times-Union need to put a reporter in a car and send them to cover the state capital.

ftu - front page

 

 

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.