Joyce Terhaar

From the Executive Editor: As 'Dr. Risk,' play editor for a day

Joyce Terhaar
Joyce Terhaar

Plenty of you, our most loyal readers, contact editors at The Bee to let us know what you think of our front-page news judgment.

That passionate interest in the news is the reason we're bringing back a longtime program that gives readers and community leaders the opportunity to play editor for a day.

We started this program, called "Dr. Risk," in the mid-1990s but dropped it in recent years. Those who participate commit to spending part of their afternoon with us to review stories in the works, listen to editors explain and debate the merits of stories, and ultimately help us select what is published on Page A1 of the next day's newspaper.

Much has changed in the world of newspapers since we first invited the community into our news meetings. A couple of decades ago it was likely that Dr. Risk would show up at the appointed time and we'd be the ones updating him or her on that day's news.

I expect today that Dr. Risk will be well aware of major news of the day already, given you can get updates everywhere, at any time. What will be new to Dr. Risk will be the stories we report that no one else is reporting. Many of those end up on the front page.

Those who join the program will discover that we try to mix things up on A1 to offer a variety of stories to readers with very different interests. Certainly the day's top news is considered. But if a story has been rehashed all day online or on television, we'll look for a more detailed version, or one that breaks a new angle. Then we'll consider local enterprise stories – those we find through expert beat reporting – to ensure you find something interesting and new on our cover.

Anyone can apply to be Dr. Risk. We've set up registration online at Fill out the form and pick a week that works for you. Bee Managing Editor Tom Negrete will contact you if you've been picked, or he might invite you to apply for a different week. We're looking for people who are interested in the news and willing to take a "risk" by adding a strong voice to the discussion about A1 stories.

With the program's relaunch this week, we'll ask participants to commit to attending our afternoon news meetings for three consecutive days, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

If you've read us at in the last couple of weeks you may have noticed we've updated and relaunched a popular feature, our CrimeMapper.

CrimeMapper is an interactive map that tracks data from four law enforcement agencies: Sacramento sheriff, Sacramento police, Elk Grove police and Folsom police. (We're working to add additional agencies as well).

CrimeMapper allows you to check for recent crimes, down to the block, by type of crime. I spent time looking at it with my mother last weekend to check out crime in my neighborhood, by The Bee and downtown. It's pretty addicting once you get started.

You can find CrimeMapper at It joins several other crime reports that have proved popular the last couple of years: Sacto 911, which reports breaking crime news all day long and can be found at; arrest logs for 18 cities at; and the Most Wanted fugitives photo gallery at