Saturday, January 10, 2009

Way to go, Joe S

Twice in recent weeks I've fallen into reading long, really interesting and well-researched pieces in the Las Vegas Sun before pulling back to see the byline. And in both cases, the byline has belonged to none other than Joe Schoenmann, the writer whose work I have pilloried several times over the past year on this blog because of lengthy, shocking and still-unexplained corrections.

Well, it appears the Joe's gotten his mojo back. Both his piece this morning about controversy surrounding the expansion plans of this weird old bar in rural Goodsprings, Nev., and his Jan. 2 look at the fury of pet owners who can't get their animals back at the Lied Animal Shelter were first-rate and, so far as I could tell, required serious amounts of legwork. The second piece, in particular, was a topic so observant yet unexamined -- animal shelter workers can be put in harm's way by angry, emotional pet owners -- that it never even occurred to me or Emily to discuss the notion in 188 episodes of "The Petcast." Hopefully we will soon, though.

This is really, really good news. I don't know what happened to Joe to have him produce the kind of stuff that resulted in those really gruesome corrections, but I repeat what I said the very first time I had to point out problems in his coverage: Until then, he had been one of my favorite and most creative local writers and one of the few I could see giving me a serious run for my national freelancing money if he ever decided to try.

Keep it up, Joe. I would've pointed out the Lied story sooner but I usually wait until I have something to say about a few items in the media before making a post of it. Sadly, there's been so little that's really stood out to me lately. Then I find myself two weeks in a row quite impressed by a story by not just the same reporter but by the very one who has received so many barbs here. Hooray.

P.S. to the R-J: As I wrote this, I received two breaking-news Twitters to my cell phone. I'm sorry, but the fact that the AFC divisional playoff is tied at the half and the fact that UNLV and Texas Christian are playing today are not breaking news. Or news at all. Who on Bonanza Road thinks otherwise?!!?


Anonymous said...

glad to see you can keep an open mind. those are both good pieces.