I wrote Monday about various oddities and tidbits found in the Beckham County Record-Democrat.
One thing I didn’t have time to mention is how interesting it is that some surviving newspapers are still called “the Democrat” or “the Republican.”
I registered to vote as an independent when I turned 18, largely because I had decided to pursue journalism. The respectable journalists (oxymoron?) I knew said it was the right move. That and, you know, political parties are full of ideological claptrap.
Many newspapers called “the Democrat” or “the Republican” claim their names to be holdovers from a less partisan time — representative of “old-timey democracy” with a little “d” or a little “r,” they say.
But we now live in a world where people hold their political affiliation much like they root for their sports teams. I’m an OU fan, and I’ll be damned if I ever root for Texas.
It’s not a bad sports mantra, but it makes for piss-poor civics.
So, in an attempt to be overly and humorously bi-partisan in my analysis of weekly western Oklahoma newspapers, I spent an additional $0.75 on the Watonga Republican last weekend. Boy howdy, I’m glad I did.
In the Sept. 16 edition’s sports section, seven different members of the Watonga High School softball team received “Player of the Week” honors. The players’ photos were posted along with blocks of local advertising on pages two through five of the “B section.” Everyone gets a trophy!
Well, almost everyone.
I feel a little bad for Becca Burks who went a combined 7 for 13 in the cleanup hole during a weekend tournament and still didn’t make Player of the Week despite seemingly endless paper space for such an accolade.
In both the Sports and News sections, reporter Ian Pribanic and managing editor Eric Warsinskey carried the load in filling the news hole. Maybe NonDoc managing editor Josh McBee and I should drop a pizza by their office and swap eye-strain tales next time we’re in Blaine County.
At 30 pages last week, the Watonga Republican was a lot heftier than the 12-page Record-Democrat. You could kill a large spider with it doubled over. Maybe a small mouse, if you swing like Becca Burks.
With far more ads in the Republican than the Democrat, one could make a correlation to the relative strengths of their namesake political parties in Oklahoma.
That’s the sort of reaction-heavy, pointless journalism that can appeal to Republicans and Democrats alike.