Magazine article Editor & Publisher

10 That Do It RIGHT - the Times-Picayune New Orleans, La

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

10 That Do It RIGHT - the Times-Picayune New Orleans, La

Article excerpt

Tourists looking to experience New Orleans like the locals do should pick up a copy of The Times-Picayune. "Go into a coffee shop in New Orleans and you'll see our paper being read at nine out of 10 tables," says Editor Jim Amoss (a Big Easy native), "and that's not just because of the pungently written stories we're able to do on occasion, but all the little things we do every day." The Times-Picayune is a big paper (260,720-circulation weekdays and 287,001 on Sundays) that hasn't forgotten the importance of being a small-town paper for its readers. So while it aggressively covers Big Issues like the city's public school crisis -- landing the American Society of Newspaper Editors' top prize for photojournalism this year -- the paper also devotes a surprising amount of real estate to such community newspaper staples as engagement announcements, high school sports and the police blotter. "If you're arrested for driving while intoxicated, you will show up in the Times-Picayune," Amoss warns.

With its gumbo of news from the suites and streets, each copy of the Times-Picayune opens a window into New Orleans' soul. Nowhere is that more evident than in the sprawling pages of obituaries that sketch the often-extraordinary lives lived by ordinary New Orleanians --all in a style as spare and as evocative as a Raymond Carver short story.

Consider this simple sentence from the May 23 obituary of lifelong New Orleans resident Rodney Jude Schexnider, 65: "He was a member of The Plantation Revelers Social and Pleasure Club, as well as Brick Layers Union Local No. …

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