Dec. 4, 2012 — Kudos is what I’d like to give freely to the residents who have contributed to making their weekly newspapers sparkle with community pride.
Photos, emails and calls with information, a whisper here and a holler there, it all adds up to the newspapers that receive constant comments and compliments from those who visit here from the big cities.
What makes your hometown weekly so special?
From the comments, it’s actually what we don’t have.
It’s the lack of canned news from the wire, the state and national news feeds; the stuff you watch on television every day.
It’s the lack of scandalous headlines and smut-filled stories about who was seen in lip-lock with whom.
Basically, it’s the lack of that city slick feel.
Instead of smut, we spread the stain equally.
With recycled paper and soy-based inks, it’s hard not to wear your paper if you enjoy it cover-to-cover, all spread out on the table.
Seriously though, the sections I hear about the most are the CHP Report, the Sheriff’s Blotter and Letters to the Editor, historically the best-read parts of the newspaper.
Some readers have suggested we drop the crime and other bad news out, but then we’d have only a niche-market magazine with a staff focused solely on advertising dollars.
Readers who tell me they love “their” newspaper share compliments about the photographs, including the ones we run from the readers themselves.
They enjoy the stories about what the kids are learning in school, the stories that would probably be passed over as unworthy by the city editors.
So I applaud the families and friends who send us those news tips, and photos, even if we don’t use all of them all the time.
Sometimes it’s the nature of submission, so I’d like to share some tips.
If you see me in the grocery store looking harried, or maybe I’m standing there staring blankly at the shelves, I’m probably not ready to take notes, especially if I’m without my notepad and pen.
Call me or shoot me an email, or even better since it’s when I’m seen that the news bug bites, catch me when I’ve actually got pad and pen in hand.
I’ll gladly flip a new page for you.
Photographs are easiest to deal with in their original form and if they can be emailed as attachments.
Some tips would be to get close instead of zooming, and make sure you include people’s faces in the pictures, and not their butts and backs of heads.
I loved all the photos readers sent to me of the first day of snow last week, especially some of the ones that came in too late for me to use.
Deadlines are rather important, for the sanity of myself and my co-workers, if for no other reason.
In the city, there are much larger teams of workers pumping out those daily rags.
Here it’s just us. But with you, we add up to one heck of a great community news team.
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