By Denise Tessier
As often happens when preparing a post for this site, I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to navigate the Albuquerque Journal’s Web site, ABQjournal.com, in search of links to embed. Even as a subscriber with years of access to the site, it’s an often-frustrating task. Sometimes, an article’s link leads nowhere, and the Cache link at the end of the search-results line saves the day. Sometimes, an article is simply not to be found.
Ironically, that was the case Monday morning when I tried to retrieve one of the articles listed in the Sunday Journal’s regular A-2 feature: “The Week’s Most Read” stories on @ABQjournal.com. What caught my eye Sunday was “’Bravest Woman in Mexico’ Talks to CNN About Asylum Bid” – No. 5 on the most-read list.
It caught my eye because it’s a story I’ve followed with interest and which I didn’t remember reading in the print version of the Journal. Not that I catch everything that runs, but it probably did not appear in the paper version.
That’s because the Journal’s online ABQ News Seeker, run by two veteran New Mexico reporters, carries quite a few stories every day that don’t make it into the paper. ABQ News Seeker, for example, was running stories about the drug cartel violence in Juarez and other cities in Mexico long before the print version caught on to the scope of the problem. It enables the Journal to deliver stories for which there’s no room in the ever-slimming print product. And it makes good use of the immediacy of the Web to break stories as they happen, before the Journal goes to press.
But I couldn’t find the “Bravest Woman” story, prompting this post.
I had put in the Search box at the top left of the Journal’s home page “Marisol Valles Garcia”, the name of the young woman who took over as police chief of the Juarez Valley town of Praxedis G. Guerrero last October. Results with her name popped up, but they were accessible only through the cache feature, and none were the one I sought. Referring back to the box in Sunday’s paper, I felt foolish when I read at the bottom: “Want to read these or other most read stories? Go to ABQJournal.com and enter Top Stories in the search box at the top left of the page.”
So I entered “Top Stories”, and got a long list of entries. But after going forward and back several times, the story I sought didn’t appear. In the end, Sunday’s “Most Read” box had served a purpose: It prompted me to go to the CNN story itself.
But then something odd happened: I redid my original search attempt – putting Valles Garcia’s name in the Search box – for purposes of this post, and the story I wanted appeared. It shouldn’t be this hard to find a story, especially if it’s one of the “most read.”
Perhaps in the future it won’t be so difficult. The Journal’s Web site is undergoing a dramatic redesign, one most readers will agree is long overdue. Web editor Donn Friedmann has posted a link here, where one can preview the site’s new look.
About Valles Garcia: The Journal did run at least two stories on her extraordinary life choices in its print version this year, both from the Associated Press. On March 8, “AWOL Mexican Police Chief Fired,” reported that Valles Garcia was granted a leave of absence from March 2-7 to travel to the United States for personal matters, but failed to return. It was surmised that Valles Garcia, a 20-year-old mother, might be seeking asylum after receiving death threats and an alleged attempt to kidnap her. When Valles Garcia took the job of police chief last October, the town had been without one since her predecessor was shot to death in July 2009. A follow-up AP story on March 9 confirmed that the young chief was indeed seeking asylum in the U.S.