The Scoop

A blog about what's new and changing on

April 19, 2012
Giving Bee editors an assist with choices for A1

The Bee relaunched a program this week in which a reader is invited in to discuss with Bee editors what stories should be on A1 the next day.

Bee editors call the program Dr. Risk, since the reader is supposed to take a risk by coming in to challenge Bee editors to reconsider their choices or ask them to explain why a particular story should be on A1.

photo.JPGThis week's Dr. Risk was Claudia Morain, news service director for the University of California, Davis. Morain signed up a few weeks ago, but as luck would have it we had to ask her to recuse herself from chatting about one story on her boss, UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, discussing a report on her role in the pepper-spraying incident at her campus late last year.

Morain said she found the experience of being Dr. Risk interesting and was amazed by the fast pace of the news meeting.

"Thank you so much for the opportunity to sit in the last two days. It's so cool to hear people talk about stories in the late afternoon and then see the discussion manifest as a newspaper the next morning," said Morain, who is at the forefront in the photo to the left listening to Bee editors discuss the stories they think belong on A1.

On Wednesday, Morain did challenge Bee editors on one story -- and she won. Editors were leaning against putting a story on Dick Clark's death on A1 simply because the news had broke early in the day and was getting coverage every where and most editors felt the story might feel old the next day on A1. Morain argued that Clark was an important icon to The Bee's readers and that it was simply shocking to her that the perpetually young-looking Clark had died.

"It was a kick to see Dick Clark on A1, disappointing everyone who thought taxidermy might be the ticket to cheating death," she said.

Since announcing any reader with a passion for news and a disposition for constructive debating could apply to be Dr. Risk at, The Bee has nearly a full calendar of Dr. Risks through the end of January 2013. We'll soon add some more dates to sign up for and announce that to readers.

Starting next week we'll share some of tomorrow's A1 headlines today. So what are some of the top stories we are looking at for A1 Friday?

Another arena story, this one looking at the $11 million in yearly profits the Kings might have made, according to projections by the company, Anschutz Entertainment Group, that would have operated the new arena.

The latest data on homes sales in the Sacramento region showed a small uptick, and reporter Hudson Sangree talks to experts about what it means.

We are also looking at a story from medical reporter Grace Rubenstein that examines data that show where you live and work in the Sacramento region have a strong influence on your health.

April 11, 2012
Want to help Bee editors pick the top stories?

What stories would you put on the front of The Sacramento Bee?

Ever want to tell Bee editors they need to give a story more attention or ask editors what they are thinking in picking stories for the front of the paper or the homepage of

Well, you have a chance to do that every Tuesday through Thursday with Bee editors at 4 p.m., when editors meet to discuss the day's top stories.

The Bee is bringing back a program called Dr. Risk that editors started in January 1994. The program has been on hiatus for the last several years but we think the original goal of the program is even more important today.

The goal of Dr. Risk is to invite community leaders and readers to our daily news meetings to tell us what stories they would put on the front page, and why; someone who would take a "risk" and challenge Bee editors to think about the kind of stories we are showcasing to readers.

To be considered to serve as Dr. Risk, click here to register and pick a date that works for you. An editor will contact you to let you know if you have been picked, or perhaps invite you to apply for another date.

Here's how the program works:

Each week, a reader, aka Dr. Risk, arrives at The Bee at 3:30 p.m. and is given a list of Page 1 story proposals and then attends the 4 p.m. editors' meeting where stories for the next day's front page are discussed. After listening to pitches by editors and asking them questions about their stories, Dr. Risk then recommends the four or five stories she would put on the front page, and why.

The qualifications? Curiosity, an interest in news and the printed edition of The Bee, and a willingness to share your opinion in a constructive manner. The commitment is approximately 90 minutes each afternoon, Tuesday through Thursday.

About The Scoop

The Scoop is a blog where the managers of talk about new initiatives and our plans for You can reach us by at the e-mail addresses below or you can comment on our postings.

Tom Negrete is managing editor of The Bee and oversees the daily work of journalists who produce news content for the newspaper and Negrete, who has been at The Bee since 1994, has served as assistant managing editor for business and sports, sports editor and assistant city editor. E-mail him at or reach him at (916) 321-1171.

Seán McMahon is The Bee's Director of Digital Media, overseeing the interactive efforts of the company. His e-mail is

Linda Gonzales is digital team leader for and has been an editor at The Bee since 1995. You can email her at

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