As a newspaper, we walk a thin line between stodginess and sensationalism. We are well aware that your eyes glaze over every time you read “redistricting,” “zoning appeal,” or “infrastructure” — in fact, those words have the same effect on us. But the nuts-and-bolts stories that necessitate such dull vocabulary are important, so we write them anyway.
On the other hand, we sometimes write stories purely to slake your thirst for salacious tidbits and entertaining stories to share at the bar. A spike in website traffic means more ad revenue, which means the newspaper stays in business another month, which means we keep getting paid. We are not above pandering to your morbid curiosity, political gamesmanship, or obsession with celebuchefs. We kept running with stories about Occupy Charleston over the past few months because we knew you were reading them, not necessarily because we thought some guy with a cajon drum was going to abolish the doctrine of corporate personhood overnight.
So here’s a coverage resolution for 2012: We will write more stories that show you how the proverbial municipal sausage is made. We will take every chance we get to explain wonky policy issues, expose unjust practices, and generally keep tabs on the people you elected. That means spending more evenings at City Council meetings, conducting more interviews with small-time bureaucrats, and getting more aggressive about holding officials to their promises and duties (and we’re not just talking about Nikki Haley).
We also promise those stories won’t be a drag to read. We want to do more stories like the one about Dereef Park. Yes, it touched on such oppressively dull topics as residential zoning and — gag — memoranda of understanding, but it also painted an interesting picture of what can happen after a neighborhood gets gentrified.
Here’s looking at you, City Council. We intend to be all up in your business in 2012.