Breaking Silence

A military court, an alleged rape victim, and the question of reporters' rights

From the Jason Giambi story to the fireman killed in Iraq to the student medical files the Daily Newsfound dumped on the sidewalk, "it just seems like every day there's something," said News editorial director Martin Dunn.

In slow news periods, broadsheets like The New York Times can run analytical pieces and projects on their front pages. The tabs can't. "We've got to come up with something compelling," Dunn said.

Doing that, said the 30-year tabloid veteran, is more art than science: "It's all a matter of gut instinct. Normally, there will be one story a day that you can get juiced about.

"If you see something that you can seize and really turn into an event, the readers tend to come along with you."

What tabloids can do—but broadsheets can't—to stay relevant, Dunn says, is to "take an attitudinal position" on a story or "be the great conveyor of the story behind the story."

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