MY View The readers have spoken! A few weeks back, I put out a plea to our readers seeking input. I asked the question: “How are we doing?” Quite frankly, like in any profession, you mainly hear …
The readers have spoken!
A few weeks back, I put out a plea to our readers seeking input. I asked the question: “How are we doing?”
Quite frankly, like in any profession, you mainly hear from people who want to tell you what you’re doing wrong. This job is a grind, and we’ve taken on some big responsibilities in the last year. Competition is good, and you have to take it on head-first and make yourself better. Our little publishing company is always going to be David, as we take on regional conglomerates fueled by out-of-state financiers with deep pockets.
In this day and age, I was surprised by the number of responses I received to my request. I still have emails coming in. I have a stack of letters and cards on my desk. I have a post-it note stuck on my computer screen. It says: “Thank you for doing what you do for our community. We need you.”
I have a four-page hand-written letter from a wonderful woman. The responses were 95 percent positive. We’re going in the right direction. We need to do some things better, and we will.
Frankly, it’s been a long summer. We’ve all had a long year. When I made my plea to our readers, I frankly was feeling a little burnt out. I work a minimum of six days a week, and our growing staff has worked diligently week in and week out. My family went on vacation for a week in June. I made it to the great North Woods Friday night and returned to the office by Sunday afternoon. I’m not looking for sympathy. No one loves what they do as much as I do.
If I didn’t know before that what we do is appreciated, I do now.
“Keep up the great work Paperboy!”
“We were so sad when we lost our newspaper, but we’re so glad you got this paper going. In fact, I find it easier to read than the previous paper.”
“I think you and your employees are doing a wonderful job of delivering news and interest stories happening throughout the communities…. Want you all to know I think you’re doing a fantastic job.”
Others had some insightful ideas: We need more personality profile feature articles. They’re coming.
We need more comprehensive sports coverage. It’s coming.
How about a local editorial committee of citizens to give regular input? It’s on its way.
We had comments about the quality of our printing. We contract for our printing, and it’s being addressed.
We heard a lot about your mail delivery. We’re doing all we can, and so are your local postal carriers. They didn’t create the mess that’s being made of the US Postal Service, but they are an incredibly dedicated group of people. Their jobs get tougher with every decision to reduce service made in Washington, D.C. Monday night at 5:30 p.m., I passed a mail carrier on a rural route five miles from everywhere. He was still hard at it to make sure you get your mail, and his day started at 7 a.m. sorting what has become a multitude of packages that he has to deliver at discount rates, along with your weekly newspaper.
In short, we’re on the right track, and in all honesty, many of the areas we were told we need to work on are staffing issues. It’s no secret that the newspaper industry is in a state of change. Goliath decided a decade ago that you wanted to see your local news on your computer, and they started killing off their newspapers to force you to do that. We made a commitment to buck that trend. Two years ago, newspapers in our area started disappearing. At that time, we were a Paperboy with a vision. We vowed to fill the void left behind by Goliath’s departure.
Two years and 30 pounds later (hey COVID was tough on all of us!), this Paperboy is hitting the streets with renewed energy. We’re equipped to dive into our communities with an arsenal featuring the most important weapon of all: The support of our readers.
And I always want to know what you think. Call me. Email me. Write me a letter. Let’s have coffee!
I’ll buy lunch even. What’s a few more pounds when you’re having this much fun?
BY JOHN McLOONE