Saturday, August 16, 2008

Coming up in this week's Gambit

Posted By on Sat, Aug 16, 2008 at 6:40 PM

You've probably already seen Clancy's new column and read the comments it's engendered...

This week's cover story grew out of a Best of New Orleans blog post (which is, I think, a first for the paper - letting blog news drive dead-tree coverage). From there, David Winkler-Schmit looked into the story to write a piece for the news column, and what he found grew into a cover story titled "What's in Their Wallet?"

What's it about? The speed with which New Orleans City Hall disburses its annual Ryan White funding to local HIV/AIDS agencies (I hear you snoring already), and how this agency -- which catered to that segment of New Orleanians that Wolf Blitzer once characterized as "so poor and so black" --has now stopped providing its traditional services...because the directors can't keep running things on their own personal credit cards.

Will people care? I don't know. It's not a "sexy" story. It's heavy on bureaucracy and policy. It doesn't have one clear villain to be vilified. It doesn't reside at the corner of Outrage and Ridiculousness, that intersection we love so much in New Orleans. It's not about a party or NOAH. It's just sad.

It's about inefficiency, and the way things are done around here, and some people who are "so poor and so black" and probably don't pick up Gambit (or the T-P, or read the blogs) because they don't have enough money or time or access, and we don't write enough about things that have any real import to their lives. That's our fault.

The original blog post got lots of comments from people who don't normally comment on Gambit's blog. That was a good sign, I think.

Anyway, I hope you pick it up and read Winkler's story (I'll post a link when it goes online on Monday), along with the rest of this week's paper, which also includes a truly hilarious Suspect Device. Which, after this week, I needed.

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