A chance encounter

Welcome to this week's Reno News & Review.

I don't know if I'm coming or going. I write this on the day our Biggest Little Best of Northern Nevada came out. In that weird deadline-temporal-fugue state, you'll be reading this Editor's Note beginning the day the extra newsprint copies get taken away.

In years past, the day it came out was always both a triumph and a failure. A triumph because it's such a major undertaking, just getting it on the street was a major undertaking. A failure because there would always be a deluge of calls from people who believed they should have won, or from businesses where we got a phone number or apostrophe wrong.

But today, and it's not yet noon, I have yet to receive an angry email or phone call. So that's the going. The coming is that I'm hip deep in reporting the next Fatal Encounters piece. This one is about the psychological, financial, emotional effects on officers who kill in the line of duty.

The coming and going is not as unrelated as you might guess. In fact, our Best of Northern Nevada was part of the inspiration for the Fatal Encounters series. One of the glories and frustrations of working for a small local newspaper is that it's hard to do an in-depth examination of anything.

Way back when, before I became editor, investigative reporting used to be my personally most rewarding work. So last year, I decided if we could marshal the complicated organization to do our Best of Northern Nevada, then for one year, I could also apply that sort of effort to something less frivolous.

Police violence is an issue that's growing across the country, and I thought if we could get ideas about training, protocol and outcomes into the national dialogue, maybe our little RN&R could make a difference beyond our stature. Spreading it out episodically was simply the strategy to keep from putting off readers by focusing on one thing too intensely for too long.

We'll see. We've already got quite a bit of national recognition. Maybe we've helped.