Wednesday, September 20, 2000
Can we quote you on that?
With our new
website, you could be one of our most important sources. Computer
technology opens up some exciting possibilities for newspaper
One of the most intriguing is our
ability to tell you about the stories we're working on for the
following week. This gives you an opportunity to comment on
We may include what you say in a news or
feature story. We ask just a couple of things. First, you respond
via email. Second, you must give a verifiable telephone number and
That's so we have the chance to
follow up with more questions or just make sure someone isn't
using your name.
Our new website makes talking
back to us easier than ever. All you have to do is click on a
reporter's byline and you will get plugged directly into his or
You can find similar links to
Publisher Nancy Adams, Advertising Manager Linda Friesen, myself
and numerous other newspaper employees.
wait until you have a news tip or a comment on an upcoming story.
Feel free to contact us with whatever you have on your mind. We are
always eager to hear from our readers.
the beauty of 21st century technology. Hometown journalism is
always about creating a running conversation with the community.
Now the conversation can take place at the speed of
We have a lot of ideas for this new
capability. One thing I want to do is collect photos of Polk County
from our readers.
Email them to me and, every
day, I will post a new one on the website. Readers can register
their votes for their favorite photos. The top vote-getter will be
published every week in the paper.
week, we will be starting our election coverage with a wide range
stories covering the candidates and the issues. That coverage will
be reflected in the website.
The website will
also offer all sorts of interactive goodies where you can make your
opinion known on the election. So please, bookmark
Websites make some newspaper people a little
skittish. After all, the website offers a lot of the same
information as the weekly newspaper. Are we competing with
If so, the newspaper (that which pays
our salaries) could suffer. That old motherly advice comes to mind.
"Who is going to buy the cow when they can get the milk for
We're not worried. We're
still a newspaper with a website, not a website with a newspaper.
The website enables us to provide up-to-the-minute sports scores,
election results and other breaking news.
also provide some of the highlights from the week's
But the website tells only part of the
story. For thorough coverage, you still need to turn to ink and
paper. The website can never go as in depth as the actual
newspaper. It can't include all the advertising, news and
What it can do, however, is create an
open channel between readers and writers, between the newspaper and
As that kind of tool, the internet
is unparalleled in human history. We plan to make the most of it.
We hope you do too. We want to know what you think and feel about
us and the communities which we all share.
21st century promises to be an exciting time, a renewed opportunity
to re-connect as neighbors and friends. Together, let's form
those links. Our website address is www.itemizerobserver.com. My
email is VHenderson@eaglenewspapers.com.