June 2012: Letter from the editor
Readers of this magazine may not be familiar with the term “service journalism,” but it is something we all see on a continual basis in periodicals of all descriptions and, over the last twenty years, online as well. The word “service” refers to information about restaurants, fashion, day trips, beauty services like spas and salons, health, home design, and much more. Maybe it’s easier to define this term by what it’s not—it’s not investigative reporting, breaking news, baseball scores, or literary essays.
Following the example of the periodical that set the standard for city/regional service journalism, New York magazine, Buffalo Spree does its best to keep readers up to date on “news they can use,” as well as provide entertaining information about Western New York. But we want to do more than that. In recent years, we have been identifying issues and events that deserve a longer feature story, the type of story that magazines are best at providing. In April, we featured an extensive portrait of the Broadway Market—its history, its assets, its problems, and its future. This month, we have an equally extensive feature on the mysterious activities of Michael Wilson, who once owned the two most expensive homes in Western New York. Although this is still an incomplete narrative—the finale has yet to be written—what’s happened so far is certainly intriguing enough.
It’s not easy to gather all the facts and viewpoints necessary to put together features like these. Phone calls remain unreturned for weeks, newspaper and other archives have to be carefully searched, and sometimes FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests have to be filed, as was necessary with the Wilson story. We greatly appreciate the hard work of the Spree writers who take the time and have the skills to undertake stories like these—Jim Walkowiak for the Broadway Market piece and Kevin Purdy for this month’s feature.
We hope you enjoy the results. Is there a Western New York story you’ve been waiting to read? Please let me know by contacting email@example.com.
Have a wonderful June,