Out of My Mind 37

Let us know what you think

With achange in publishers there are bound to be some small changes in the newspaper,but first we’d like to find out what you think on a few things.

Our firstorder of business is to find a new Tonasket reporter. We’ve had an ad runningin the many community newspapers owned by Sound Publishing, as well as onlineat journalismjobs.com. We are placing an emphasis on finding someone who is, orwill be a part of the Tonasket community – living in Tonasket and covering thethings that you find important – from city council, school board, hospitalboard and chamber of commerce meetings, to community events in and around theTonasket area. Of course coverage of our local school events and sports teamsis an important qualification.

Therehave actually been several responses from around the country – some from peoplewho have worked at publications much larger than ours. Many inquiries are fromwriters with experience at daily newspapers in large metro markets. I’m notsure if that’s just a sign of the times or if lots of reporters are looking tobreak away from the big city dailies to try their hand at real community news.

Next,we’ve been hearing a lot about getting our opinion page back to more localissues and that’s where we’re steering the course, especially in my column, butalso in the guest editorials that we run. We prioritize issues that deal withTonasket and Oroville first and expand out from there to county-wide, thenregional and Seventh Legislative District to state-wide and then nationalissues. And with our proximity to the Canadian border and the many people whocome from Mexico and further south to harvest our crops, international issuesmay come up for discussion from time to time. None of this means that we willavoid issues that are in the national debate, just that they are not gettingtop billing unless we can connect them directly to our readers.

Weprioritize letters from local writers, we always have. If we get the occasionalletter from far off places like Everett or Mercer Island, we will run them aswe have room. We run letters with Oroville and Tonasket addresses first, thenrun letters from outside the area when we can. This hasn’t changed in the lastquarter century and we don’t expect it will in the future. Our letter writerscan write about whatever they wish, local or national issues, but we encourageas many letters about the things that affect our hometowns. Some times letter writersare bound to cast their nets wider than Tonasket or Oroville and that’s okaytoo. Just remember to mix it up a little and let’s not get bogged down on thesame issues week after week or get in a battle of name calling.

We’ve already spoken to Joyce "Boots" Emry andshe’d like to continue writing her This and That column and Boots was told sheis welcome in our paper for as long as she enjoys writing it and our readerscontinue to enjoy reading it. That goes for all our other local correspondents.Boots and her husband Clayton, as most of you know, are former publishers ofthe G-T. Clayton would like to start writing his “Old News” column again, whichcontains snippets from past issues of the old Oroville Gazette and TonasketTribune.

DaveGraybill has offered to continue writing the Fishin’ Magician and I still haveto let him know if we will be continuing his column. On the plus side it iswell written and informative. However, I’ve heard a lot of people wantsomething more localized. Let’s hear from you whether we should keep printingit or seek someone who will write about our local lakes and streams. We’ve hadvolunteers take on this task before, but consistency of effort was always theproblem.

Anyway,we welcome your suggestions — let us know what you think.