Matt Zalaznick: What you think about the Daily
Readers I’ve had lunch with over the last few weeks say the Vail Daily does a good job at getting the news out to the community, but we don’t always get the story behind the story. We don’t always make the repercussions of the pressing issues clear, these readers say.
Depth was seen as a weakness the last time I wrote about the lunches I’ve been buying for readers (though some of you have bought, too).
Unfortunately ” for us ” I agree that on some issues we haven’t gone much below the surface. One reader wanted more scrutiny from us on health care, taxes and the environment.
We recently ran a story interviewing locals who’d been seriously injured and who are struggling with health care costs. This put a human face on the problem ” something I think we’re good at ” but the reader said we need to look more deeply into why these locals didn’t have insurance.
This reader said it’s not just the expense that prevents people from insuring themselves ” sometimes they just can’t get insurance.
The same reader said we need to work a little harder on our coverage of alternative energy. We’ve covered lots of locals businesses that have made their operations more environmentally friendly, but this reader wondered “what happened to the electric car?”
He wants us to do some research on how cars can be made more efficient.
And speaking of cars, this reader also wanted us to look at the sentences drunken drivers are given by Eagle County judges. This reader believes people caught driving under the influence aren’t punished severely enough. He felt more people convicted of this crime should lose their licenses for longer periods of time.
Finally, he said, he leans Democrat but is annoyed that the Eagle County’s board of commissioners ” which is 100 percent Democrat ” chose to raise taxes when property values increased. He said he was especially irritated the commissioners spent money on early-childhood programs despite voters’ rejection of the proposal.
Another reader who asked for more depth in our reporting suggested looking at the major developers in the valley and tallying how much affordable housing each one of them has built.
This reader also said we should do a better job proofreading. Yikes.
The Vail Daily prides itself on being an ultra-local paper ” our reporters don’t go to Denver or Washington D.C. or Baghdad. Still, a few readers though we could use a larger national news section.
Another reader thought we should do more stories on the cost of skiing in Vail ” the lift tickets and parking. She said that she had relatives who weren’t that excited about paying for parking after spending $90 on a lift ticket.
This same reader commended our arts and entertainment coverage, but thought our previews don’t run early enough. She said she’d seen too many stories about events happening the same day ” she said she needs more time to plan.
Finally, a couple of readers ” one of them a former newspaperman ” said we need to make sure our newspaper boxes are full early in the morning. Both of them said they sometimes had trouble finding papers around breakfast time at the places where they usually pick it up.
One of those readers, however, said he really likes our new Web site, particularly the videos of reporters.
Some more things about the paper readers liked:
– The size and amount of ads let people know what’s going on around town.
– Education coverage is strong
– Recent profiles of candidates for Eagle County board of commissioners
– Recent articles on cyclists’ complaints about U.S. Highway 6
– The redesign of both the newspaper and Vaildaily.com
– Web videos, particularly those of reporters taking about their stories
– The columns, editorials and letters to the editor.
A few weeks ago, I met a woman who is concerned about immigration, and while leaning Republican, seems to be looking for substantial solutions more than border fences.
But, she said, she liked a series of articles earlier this year on the cost of illegal immigration to local agencies like the county and the Sheriff’s Office.
These articles, by the way, we’re inspired by a reader I had lunch with.
Managing Editor Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 748-2926, or firstname.lastname@example.org.