That said, the Sun provided by far the most comprehensive coverage, beginning with a strong pre-visit story by its Washington correspondent, Karoun Demirjian, in which she explained the importance of Las Vegas to Obama’s energy agenda:
The company [UPS], in cooperation with local governments and the South Coast Air Quality Management District, won a $5.6 million cost-share investment through the stimulus bill to purchase a fleet of trucks that could run on liquefied natural gas (LNG is a cleaner-burning fuel than regular gas or diesel) and construct a publicly accessible LNG refueling station—the first of its kind in the country.
The natural gas-fueled corridor allows UPS to move merchandise through more energy-efficient engines from Long Beach, Calif., to Salt Lake City, according to senior White House advisers.
It’s a model the president wants to replicate in other areas of the country as well, primarily by upping the incentives to get the country’s transport vehicles off gasoline.
It’s this sort of explanatory and analytical writing at which the Sun often shines. And while in this case the White House was no doubt happy to cooperate, Demirijian’s story also noted obstacles to Obama’s program, and pointed to one reason the president might be eager to talk about natural gas rather than solar energy in Nevada. (In a Friday column, the Review-Journal’s John L. Smith offered another pertinent fact that throws some cold water on Obama’s natural gas enthusiasm: while UPS has converted about 2,500 trucks to natural gas or other clean-burning fuels, its fleet numbers nearly 94,000.)
The Sun’s coverage also included a contribution by columnist J. Patrick Coolican, who snared a brief interview with the CEO of UPS that he mined for some insights about the national political scene, and a column by Jon Ralston, who observed that local Democrats are keeping their distance from the president.
There was only one big problem with the Sun’s coverage, and it’s a huge one for those who don’t have computer access or prefer their news in print: the majority of the paper’s stories appeared only online. Friday’s print edition carried Ralston’s column, a full page of color photos, and a top-of-page-one headline—“Southern Nevada welcomes President Barack Obama”—that was followed by two bland sentences of text and this advisory: “For complete coverage, visit lasvegassun.com/obama.” Yes, we most certainly live in a digital world.