The Associated Press has a 675-word trend story on closed churches finding second lives as breweries.
I loved the headline, which includes a punny reference to "Holy spirits."
And the story itself starts out as if it's going to be interesting and informative. To some extent, I guess the piece turns out that way.
But here's what's frustrating to me: The AP report hopscotches all over the place, fails to reflect the voice of a highly relevant source and generally tries to do way too much in too little space. There's no way to know if this is a reporting problem or one created at the editing stage. We do know a memo was issued a few years ago limiting most AP stories to 300 to 500 words.
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — Ira Gerhart finally found a place last year to fulfill his yearslong dream of opening a brewery: a 1923 Presbyterian church. It was cheap, charming and just blocks from downtown Youngstown.
But soon after Gerhart announced his plans, residents and a minister at a Baptist church a block away complained about alcohol being served in the former house of worship.
“I get it, you know, just the idea of putting a bar in God’s house,” Gerhart said. “If we didn’t choose to do this, most likely, it’d fall down or get torn down. I told them we’re not going to be a rowdy college bar.”
Based on those first three paragraphs, is there any source from whom we might expect to hear as the story keeps going? The Baptist minister perhaps?
That was my thinking, but he or she never appears.
Instead, we get this later on:
Gerhart’s is scheduled to open this month after winning over skeptics like the Baptist minister and obtaining a liquor license.
OK, I suppose we have no choose but to take your word for it.