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Can newspapers find life by serving up death?

My Web wanderings led me to the Columbus Dispatch, which features a list of links for top stories. They include loads of sad news:

* Ohioan killed in rocket attack

* Man dies in freak mowing accident

* Man dies in accident on far northside

* Delaware mom gets 13 years in prison for baby’s death.

To be fair, they leven the mix a bit with news about a megachurch leader and lots of sports. And the story about the local soldier dying in Iraq is important news.

But still, the mix is decidedly grim. Is this the best way for a local paper to connect with its community? If I were the editor, I’d consider packaging much of the gruesome stuff on one page and leaving the gory details to the local TV news.

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