I asked. You answered.
Readers weren't timid with responses to my Aug. 5 column, "What do you want to see in The Bee?"
Beating up the local newspaper is an American pastime, so I was prepared for an avalanche of criticism. But that's not what materialized.
Many of you feel that you have a stake in The Bee. That's great, because you most certainly do. Reader input is essential to improving our work and providing readers what they want and need.
I've kept track of the dozens of comments received. The feedback is invaluable and I plan to share it with reporters, photographers and editors.
I'll open the discussion by posting a few comments here, along with my take. I've left out the names, since many of you didn't want them used.
As always, please do not hesitate to offer more input, whether it's through e-mail, a phone call or regular mail.
I understand your desire to focus on local news, which must have a voice, especially in helping to keep local politics honest, but we also must have access to national and international news. Well, I know you are doing that, but just saying
We know that some of our readers rely on the printed newspaper for all of their news world, national, regional and local.
We also know that there are seemingly limitless sources for national and international news, and far fewer options for news that's happening a block away.
We provide a complete report of world and national news online at Modbee.com and in print. A good chunk of the A section of the printed newspaper is dedicated to news outside California.
The Bee subscribes to The Associated Press, McClatchy- Tribune and The New York Times wire services, and all provide excellent coverage. This frees our reporters and editors to concentrate on what can't be found elsewhere: local news.
COMPLETE ARTICLES. That's right, complete them.
How about the article about the airliner coming from Laughlin that was diverted to Stockton? I'm sure almost everyone was like me and wanted to know what was so different about Stockton that made it preferable to Modesto. The length of the Modesto runway was listed, but we still don't know if the runway in Stockton was longer or shorter. The hot weather and thin air were cited, but isn't the weather in Stockton exactly the same?
Bee reporters and editors work hard to anticipate what readers need to know and to be as complete as possible in every story. Still, we sometimes miss the mark or aren't able answer every question or provide every detail. When we don't, please let us know.
The Internet allows us to post source documents and other data we use to write news stories. We've posted arrest reports, court documents and databases that can provide a more complete picture.
For the record, the main runway at the Stockton airport is 8,650 feet in length, while the Modesto airport's is 5,911 feet. This data would have improved the airliner story.
I appreciate The Bee's focus on local news, especially the in-depth stories such as SCAP and the MID water deal. I am a firm believer in the role of journalists as the public's eyes and ears. They are often the only ones to uncover important issues and background information. The Bee does an outstanding job during election season giving coverage to candidates and issues.
Thank you. I take investigative reporting seriously. Expect to see more of it throughout all of our offerings, and especially on the front page of the Sunday newspaper a day when many readers have more time to spend with the printed product.
You're right many major local stories would not have seen the light of day if not for enterprising Bee reporters who dedicate the time and effort to break important news.
The newspaper is at its best when it helps readers cut through the clutter. The package on today's Page A-12, which highlights ballot propositions in November's general election, does just that.
A good newspaper arms you with the information you need to make informed decisions. You deserve to know who is behind the ballot propositions, who bankrolls the campaigns, and what consequences may arise from their passage or failure.
A good newspaper also offers a strong Opinions section that serves as the community's marketplace for ideas.
You don't always have to agree with our opinions, and that's fine. We write them because we want to stimulate a clear-headed and civil community conversation. The discourse that results brings people together and helps provide solutions.
Providing this forum is a noble calling we are eager to fulfill.
Contact Kieta at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2356 or on Twitter @josephkieta.