Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thank you for your support, please continue to support your local newspaper

You’ve heard of the expression, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Well, I like to think that it takes a village to put out a newspaper. For the past five-and-a-half years, I have truly felt like a “caretaker” of this newspaper. I have taken the approach that the Kuna Melba News “belongs” to its citizens, and I have been here to simply organize the information we receive. Every week, the Kuna Melba News receives more submitted items than anywhere else I’ve ever worked and just about any other newspaper I’ve read. Every week, we are chock full of stories, letters, photos that our readers have sent in. I consider it a great honor that people still want to be in the newspaper in this day and age of Facebook and Twitter. This being my final Editor’s Notebook as editor of the Kuna Melba News, I would like to use it to thank the people who make this newspaper possible. First, I thank our advertisers. They shell out their hard-earned cash every month to have an ad in this newspaper. It’s that money that keeps this newspaper running and publishing every week. I know that many, many of our advertisers truly believe that advertising in the Kuna Melba News helps their business, that it gets their message in front of the people who really matter the most. But I fully accept and appreciate the fact that some of our advertisers are also “supporting” the Kuna Melba News, recognizing that it’s important to have a strong and independent newspaper in their city. As citizens, you should in turn support them. Next, I’d like to thank the people who were already subscribers when we bought the Kuna Melba News on Sept. 29, 2006. You, too, felt it was important to have a strong and independent newspaper and you supported it by renewing your subscription each year. You made it possible for us to even buy the Kuna Melba News in the first place. Next, I thank the people who jumped on board just as soon as we bought the paper. Right after Nicola and I bought the paper, we sent out free sample issues of the paper to every address in the 83634 ZIP code along with a little subscription form asking people to subscribe. My goodness, it was like Christmas morning every day we went to the post office. Every week for 10 weeks, we received 10 to 20 new subscriptions. Your enthusiasm, your encouragement, your faith in us — and your checks — helped us to grow and improve the paper right off the bat. I want to thank the parents who renewed their subscription even though your son or daughter graduated from high school or their sports season was over. I know you probably started your subscription because your son or daughter was in the paper regularly either through school events or sports. But continuing your subscription afterwards showed that you found other things in the paper that were interesting, either our school board coverage or our feature stories, community calendar or news of neighbors. Whatever the reason, thank you for renewing. I want to thank the mom who stopped me at a baseball game a couple of years ago to thank me for coming out to cover a game one night. She said she recognized that she was at the game with her family but that for me, I was working and was away from my family. She thanked me for sacrificing time away from my family to cover something important to them. That was just such a nice observation and a really touching expression of gratitude. It helped bolster my spirits for many, many evening games that followed over the years. I would also like to thank public officials who subscribe to the paper. I know that there are times when I write something you don’t like or you feel that I shouldn’t be writing about a certain subject at all. One of you even called me “extreme.” But some of you keep on renewing your subscription. Thank you. I suppose the reasons for renewing are varied, but I like to think that you recognize that I try to be fair and that if I express an opinion you don’t like, I will willingly and eagerly accept your response for publication the next week. I also want to thank the coaches and parents who have sent in game results and photos over the years. Thank you for meeting me halfway. You recognized that I was at your team’s or child’s event on a Saturday morning but that I couldn’t make it to the Tuesday game because I was at a city council or a school board meeting. But you sent me the results and a photo so that we could share it with the whole community even though I couldn’t be there. In particular, thank you for sending results even when we lost. If one of our athletes scored 22 points or hit a three-run home run or ran a 96-yard touchdown, it didn’t matter whether we won or lost. It was still important to have that individual’s accomplishment in the paper. Thank you, too, to the people who have written columns in the paper on a volunteer basis: Steven Ricks, Zeke Corder, Sharon Fisher, Nancy Simper. Your contributions added so much to the paper. I know readers have enjoyed the roughly 300 Editor’s Notebooks I’ve written since October 2006, but where would we be without these other columnists? In the end, I believe a community’s newspaper is all about community. It’s the single most important element in bringing a community together — not just to agree on everything — but also to disagree, to share ideas, to learn from one another, to air grievances. I know my brand of journalism wasn’t always as flashy or sensationalistic as some of you would have liked, and I know some of you wanted me to be more of an advocate for or against certain issues. But for better or worse, I hope the Kuna Melba News has accomplished what we set out to do five-and-a-half years ago: to accurately reflect the community. My hope is that the community will continue to support the Kuna Melba News.

1 comment:

slfisher said...

It was a privilege. Thanks for turning the paper into such a great example of what a community paper could be.