It seemed obvious, barely worth mentioning, up until now.
In the traditional print newspaper model, the paper is the content gatekeeper.
Whom does that benefit?
If news decisions are dictated by the publisher’s point of view, the paper’s gatekeeper role benefits the publisher and his or her interests.
If editors are free to make the best decisions they can (the typical situation in our country), the paper’s gatekeeper role benefits the public.
Editors are far from infallible, but it’s their business to be on top of the news and to evaluate, each day, which stories are worth pursuing and, in the case of wire copy, which versions of which stories should be in the paper.
Readers who disagree have recourse; the editors are right there, in the community the paper serves.
And each day, editors have another chance to learn from errors they have made, another chance to get it right.
Not a bad system. But the newspaper’s gatekeeper role is being supplanted. More tomorrow. Stay tuned.