I’ve been reading through issues of Editor’s and Publisher’s Magazine for months and have learned a lot about the newspaper industry in the process.
One of the first things I read that has probably made the biggest difference in my writing was a reminder that not all readers will be as informed on a topic as the reporter that is assigned to cover that assignment over a prolonged period. It said that reporters often forget not every person reads every single article on a topic. It was a lesson I took to heart as I covered the local meetings for our community. I did my best to summarize back stories to my articles when appropriate.
Now that I have become editor I remember another article that I read months ago. It was about the topic of writing an editorial which in my opinion can be a daunting task. It was about using this writing space to explain the process that we go through to get our papers to you every week. It is a way to not only gain the trust of a readership, but to engage one as well.
Over the past few weeks as everything seemed kind of overwhelming at times the article helped make the difficult decision on “what on the earth am I going to talk about this week” a little easier and so I wrote about being a little overwhelmed at times.
Now that I have been able to spend more time on the editor side of the world things are coming into better focus. I have been able to start thinking a little more about what it really means to be the editor of this paper.I have been able to let it really sink in that I am who sets the course the paper goes on. Now I am able to begin to think about the vision I have for the Mountain Home News.
Of course, the meat of our paper will always stay the same, we are the Elmore County Paper of Record, we will always cover all of the regular items like meetings and community activities, but that isn’t always enough to fill the whole paper, ( andsometimes it’s all I can do to squeeze all of the community events into our pages).
I really want the extra space to be based off items that are important and interesting to our local community. For example, as a child of the agricultural community it is something I would like to cover more. I understand what a large percentage of our community’s population depends on the success of agriculture for their family’s wellbeing.
I have been researching and networking resources on anything I feel our readers would find interesting, but I am always open to suggestions. If you are a member of an organization or come across a topic that pertains to our readership area (don’t forget Eastern Owyhee County) please let me know. Also, I know there are many other areas that our readers would like to see covered too. If there is subject you think we should try a little harder to cover, when space and resources allow, tell us.
People keep asking me what type of items I would like to be submitted and my answer has been keep your camera handy. If you are out at Legacy park enjoying a day of fishing take a photo of your childs catch and send it to me with a brief description. If you see a beautiful sunset send the photo. If I have a space to fill I would love to include community snap shots.
I want our community to always put the paper down satisfied with the quality and variety of information they attained by purchasing an issue or subscribing to the Mountain Home News. That is my “vision.”