Wednesday, September 10, 2008

This week's issue

Posted By on Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 11:23 AM

What to do? That was the question we faced last week when Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick pleaded guilty to two felonies and no contest to a third, and then resigned. It was a story guaranteed to get saturation coverage from all the area’s media. That was a given. And, by the time Metro Times hit the streets the following Wednesday, it would be a week-old story. But it was also a story that demanded at least some response from us. It was, after all, this paper that first exposed the explosive allegations contained in depositions that were part of the whistle-blower lawsuit that ultimately proved to be Kilpatrick’s undoing. We were also the first media outlet to call for the mayor’s resignation once the Free Press, in a Pulitzer-worthy piece of reporting, disclosed the contents of text messages between Kilpatrick and former chief of staff Christine Beatty.

So it wasn’t a story we could just ignore.

As an alternative paper, one of the questions we always ask ourselves is:

What can we do that’s different? Sometimes the answer to that is doing a story others won’t touch. Sometimes it is doing a story in a way others won’t. Long-form narrative journalism has long been one of the hallmarks of the alternative press.

And sometimes it means stepping way outside the box and coming up with something like you see in this week’s paper, with us turning Detroit’s disgraced mayor into a comic book character as a way of recounting his rise and fall. We knew it would be provocative, and that there would almost certainly be some who would take offense to that treatment. But being milquetoast has never been part of our mission here. Stirring things up is part of what makes our jobs here worth doing.

Above all, we strive to keep things interesting. Which means that we are going to generate strong reactions. And we want to hear what you think. With our new Web site, you can let us — and everyone else — know by clicking on “comment” at the end of the story. You can also email a letter to the editor at letters@metrotimes.com. Or, if you prefer real human interaction, you can give me a call at 313-202-8004.

Like us or hate us, my bottom-line response is always this:

Thanks for reading. —Curt Guyette, news editor

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