Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Hot fuel, hot story

Kansas City's powerful "Hot Fuel" stories appeared around the country recently, provoking a storm of reaction. Among other readers was California's AG Bill Lockyear who (presumably) saw the A-1 story in The Sacramento Bee (pictured here) and ordered an investigation here in the nation's gasoline-thirstiest state.

I thought you'd be proud (as I was) to see this reaction, representative of what we're hearing from around the country. This testimonial is from Mark Lauffer, wire desk supervisor at the Arizona Republic:

I am in charge of wires for The Arizona Republic in Phoenix. I was blown away by your hot fuel series. When I pitched it to our editors last week, they were blown away, too. We ran it on Monday and Tuesday Aug. 28-29 on the front page. On Monday it was the lead story / centerpiece, above the fold. We a photo and graphic on the cover and another graphic inside. On Tuesday, we did an Arizona reaction piece to go with your story and we used another photo and graphic. By the way, the graphics showing how hot fuel works and how the pumps would work were outstanding.

I see on the wires that hot fuel already is becoming a campaign issue in Missouri. You and your staff may end up affecting millions of Americans.

What better journalism is there? When I pitched the story, I said it could be the best piece of consumer reporting I had ever seen.

–Howard Weaver

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