Covering war

War is hell, for the soldiers, for the country, for innocents and our innocence. War is no fun for journalists either, even those at the Sacramento News & Review and other alternative newsweeklies. Like the rest of the country, all of us here in the newsroom were horrified as we watched the events of September 11 unfold.

But it was a Tuesday, production day for SN&R, so we worked toward our 6 p.m. deadline for getting the issue to the printers, listening to the broadcasts as we went. Some other papers like ours across the country dropped their cover stories and hurriedly prepared reaction packages. We opted to just change our Editorial, Sidelines and Editorial Cartoon to mark the still-developing tragedy.

The next week, we were again presented with a choice of whether to scrap our “Best of Sacramento” cover package in favor of war coverage. We decided to proceed with the annual issue and devote our entire news and opinion sections to the war. So, to the consternation of some readers and staffers alike, this is the first week that the war has made our cover.

Yet I think our decisions say something about how we intend to cover the "war on terrorism." We don’t ever want to be reactionary in our approach. We will strive to give you information and perspectives that help you grapple with the complexities of the situation we face at this critical point in our history.