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Pope coverage didn't reflect historic import

Ruth Plaisted Waterford

Publication: The Day

Published 02/22/2013 12:00 AM
Updated 02/21/2013 05:25 PM

I awaited the arrival of my Feb. 12 Day with anticipation of what I expected would be prominent and extensive coverage of the historic event that occurred Feb. 11 - the announcement that Pope Benedict XVI would resign at the end of the month.

But instead what greeted me when I picked up my newspaper was a screaming headline about something that by that juncture was not terribly newsworthy, "Getting back to normal, slowly." Yes, unbelievably, four days after a blizzard struck the region was getting back to normal. To make sure readers did not miss the point, taking up most of the top half of the newspaper was a photograph of a front loader filling a truck with actual snow.

The Day chose to relegate news of the pope's resignation, the first in 600 years, to a single wire story below the fold with one small photo. The newspaper did not bother to get local reaction from Catholic laypersons or clergy. This was a major event by any standard, but the fact Connecticut percentagewise has one of the largest Catholic populations in the country made the decision to downplay the story even worse.

I expected more of The Day.

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