|By G. Michael Dobbs|
Recently we ran a survey in one of our four weekly newspapers that asked folks what they'd like to see. Generally peopleseem to like what we're doing and my staff and I say "Thanks!"
There were a number of suggestions for new features in our papers and I thought it would be good to share some of the suggestions and respond to them.
The Police Log Many community newspapers carry a weekly round up of police calls. These are public records and can show the nature of what police work is like in a town.
It's the equivalent of having a police scanner in your newspaper.
Police logs can work pretty well in a newspaper dedicated to one community, but three of our four papers cover more than one town. The logs can get quite lengthy and push other kinds of news out of the paper.
The issue is then whether or not you edit the police log and present a "best of the week's crime." Some folks will think you're trying to present an overly negative or positive view of a community. Are you hurting or helping a community?
If I had the space and if I had the reporting time to transcribe the logs, I might consider it.
Cooking pages Over the years, I've sneaked in a few food pages and would like to make it a regular section in our papers. I'll work on it.
More stories on local people Know someone with an interesting story? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me 525-3247, ext. 103.
TV programming on local access channels Since I don't have cable, I miss out on what is on local access. I'd love for us to do a story for each of our editions on what's out there. Again, please drop me a line if you have a show or work at a local access operation.
Variety of letters to the editor I'd love to run more. I just need people to send them to me!
A weekly photo of an animal to adopt I know the MSPCA does this with TV 22 each week and there are other animal rescue programs that might need the exposure. I'd be happy to speak with them.
An astrological column I have access to one, but I've thought a weekly one would not be as desirable as a daily one, which is available in other publications and on the Internet.
Coupons Well, that's one thing I can't control as it's a function of our fine Sales Department. I think it's valuable information for our advertisers to know this is something people seek out.
Massachusetts legislative news I agree that there is too little coverage of the Beacon Hill scene out here in western Massachusetts and I do have a plan a cunning plan to try to get more into our papers.
More sports Even though I'm not a sports fan, I know many of our readers want more sports. I'm trying to devise a plan hopefully a cunning plan to address that issue.
Thanks for the feedback. I truly appreciate it.
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