Every winter, newspapers review the top stories of the year and make lists. A few days ago, as I was going through a year’s work by The Olympian, I was struck by the quantity and the depth of coverage of our community.
The list included stories about the surge in heroin use, developments in the legalization of marijuana and the privatization of liquor, the complexities of addressing homelessness, and changes in our health care system.
But, every day, shorter stories that affected our lives surrounded the “big” stories. At least once a week we looked into a local classroom to see what innovation and activities our children were pursuing. We also spotlighted a student on Sundays, for a quick look at what motivates the next generation.
Some of our most popular stories are the daily dramas on the street: crime and traffic reports. When a bunch of cars with sirens converge in your neighborhood, you want to know what’s going on. If it takes you an extra hour to get home, you wonder why.
Sometimes, it’s a lot of hullabaloo without a lot of consequence — serving a warrant or a traffic stop. Or sometimes it’s a matter we don’t report on because of privacy, such as a suicide. But the scanner is always on in our newsroom, and our cops and courts reporter is on the speed dial of every law enforcement agency in our coverage area. Every day there are stories in print and online that come from the law enforcement arena.
Then there’s city and county government, business, sports, outdoors and entertainment. If it’s happening here, we try to tell you about it, even to the basics of life and death. Readers can find out who was born and who died, in print and online. Keeping up with those records requires us to be in regular communication with the area’s hospitals and funeral homes.
That’s what I saw when I looked at The Olympian from 2013. Now, I wonder what you — our readers — would like to see. Something more? Something less? Something else?
Let me know. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or our news inbox at email@example.com.
SAVE THE DATE
We are planning a community open house from 4-7 p.m. Feb. 6. That’s a Thursday, and we hope you join us for conversation and refreshments. The Olympian news team will be there, as well as representatives from our other departments. It’s a good time to meet one another and share ideas about what you’d like to see in your newspaper.
Thanks for reading.Jerre Redecker is senior editor of The Olympian. Contact her at 360-754-5422 or firstname.lastname@example.org.