Making a Pledge

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 “In the final analysis, the one quality that all successful people have is the ability to take on responsibility.” ~ Michael Korda 

I am making a pledge, right here, right now! I will no longer make generalized statements or assumptions about the media, specifically about newspaper publishing. 

A statement that I often hear is “the media is  just out to get a good story, caring not about the individuals in the story or the sensitivity of the subject they are exposing.” In some circumstances I might agree with this statement. However, last week I gained new insight into the collaborative decisions that are made, by the editor and supporting staff of our local newspaper. 

Once a month the editor and the general manager of our town’s newspaper, The Steamboat Pilot www.steamboatpilot.com, open their doors to their readers, so the community can become more informed about their business. Last week, I attended the “coffee hour” with other community members. I was heartened to learn: 

  • The newspaper staff wants feedback from the community about how they are doing, as a local newspaper.
  • The staff was “all ears.” They wanted to know what stories of community interest should be addressed.
  • The e-format and the print version of the Steamboat Pilot are both popular.
  • The Steamboat Pilot is owned by The World Company of Lawrence, Kansas
  • The reputation of others, in exposing stories of sensationalism or controversy, is of great concern.
  • A democratic process is in place for deciding what newspaper articles will run or not. Note: Sometimes the editor gets over-ruled in the process.
  • Decisions take into consideration what is best for each format- the print version and the e-version of the newspaper.  

Thank you to the staff of the Steamboat Pilot for the opportunity to learn more about your world of newspaper publishing.  I appreciate the fact that you want to hear, from readers, whether the goal of responsible newspaper reporting is being fulfilled by the Steamboat Pilot.  

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