It's time for a trip into my thick guilt file of news pieces that I wanted to get to a week ago (or more). However, most of my work this past week focused on Las Vegas, for reasons I am sure readers will understand.
Instead of Las Vegas, this post is about Southern Baptists and Phoenix. It's also about the negative side effects, in terms of news, of current trends in newsroom budgets (and I'm not just talking about editors declining to hire religion-beat professionals).
Now, please trust me when I say that I have spent lots of time studying the economic dominoes that keep falling in newsrooms during our industry's money crisis, which is primarily being caused by weak revenues from advertising, both digital and analog.
I know that there are fewer reporters, even in the healthiest of newsrooms. I know that those reporters are being stretched thinner and thinner, with some being forced -- often by editors -- to cut corners while delivering more news, in more formats, on shorter deadlines, with fewer copy editors watching their backs.
At the same time, travel budgets are thinner than ever (maybe even for crucial subjects, like sports and, gasp, politics).
So I understand why many newsrooms are not sending reporters -- in the flesh -- to cover some major news events that drew live coverage in the past. Take this summer's Southern Baptist Convention in Phoenix.
However, CNN showed up -- in the person of feature correspondent Chris Moody. I will argue that, because Moody was there in person, the odds may have been tilted in his favor when it came time to land a major scoop the other day, the one with this headline: "Exclusive: Evangelicals urge more action from Trump against alt-right."
Hold that thought.