- The Washington Times - Friday, May 17, 2002

At home in the forefront



The metropolitan desk strives to adhere to The Washington Times' motto of "get it first, get it right." The desk consistently aims to use its resources to break news, produce exclusive stories and force other news agencies to follow its lead.
Outnumbered by many news operations, the metropolitan desk does not seek to be the newspaper of record or to report the latest incremental development in every story in every jurisdiction in our readership area.
Instead, the desk focuses on issues that matter to its readers transportation, education, public safety, politics. Moreover, the metropolitan desk seeks to produce stories that will interest readers across Greater Washington.
Enterprise is the driving force behind the metropolitan desk's daily coverage of the news. Reporters and editors constantly look for the angles that will make our stories stand out from those of the pack; to develop ideas that will make our stories unique; to package text, photographs and graphics to make our stories dynamic, accessible and informative.
The metropolitan desk is blessed with a young, intelligent and ambitious corps of reporters who are eager to delve into their subject matter and create singular reports that have an effect on readers, government and the community at large. In this way, the metropolitan desk serves as a training ground for other news desks at The Times and often, other newspapers around the country. The section's senior reporters provide a solid example to emulate.
The metropolitan desk's editors concentrate on how to produce stories that other news agencies will have to follow using the ideas, angles, sources, etc., that others ignore, overlook or dismiss. Working closely with reporters, the editors sift their enthusiastic output through an organizing intelligence to create clear, concise and compelling copy.
Since the beginning of this year, the metropolitan desk has broken numerous stories that have informed and galvanized readers and forced other news agencies to follow:
The growing use of automated cameras in traffic enforcement.
The resume scandal in the D.C. Fire Department.
Ethics violations by Maryland Democrats in the General Assembly.
Conflict over the use of Indian names for sports teams.
Virginia lawmakers' backsliding on no-tax pledges in the General Assembly.
Problems with Metro's new subway cars.
The cleanup of anthrax spores on Capitol Hill.
These are areas where the metropolitan desk has made its mark as a "must read" for Greater Washington.
Carleton Bryant,
metropolitan editor



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