By: Forrest R. Church, Publisher
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
It has been an interesting year both professionally. In this line of work just about every day can be classified as “interesting”. You never know what news story will develop out of thin air.
Beyond the known weekly deadlines that consume our lives, the rest is often un-known.
Sometimes you receive high praise, often you receive the back end of a tongue lashing from people who expect us to be perfect. Unfortunately we will never meet this expectation.
When the door opens, the phone rings, or you hear that email chirp for one of the 1500 average daily emails that arrive, you just never know what to expect on the other end of the line of communication. It is certainly almost always “interesting”.
As I reviewed an entire year of newspaper archives for our New Year’s edition publishing next week a lot of thoughts and emotions were stirred up fresh, much like experienced when first publishing this news. Example?
Obits of people in my personal opinion that were much too young appeared again during my annual review. Over twelve months, a tremendous amount of people in my personal circle also appeared in this section of the newspaper.
There were of course senseless and at times shocking criminal activities we had to report on. There was divisions of ideas and politics that divide our communities which is unfortunate, but part of life I guess.
I feel our reporting staff did a great job following our policy concerning these type of writing assignments. To provide factual data, from all “sides” including unpopular ones, while avoiding adding typical media drama, while checking our personal opinions at the door, allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions.
Fortunately there were a ton of positives which we try to focus on at The Village Reporter. While some of our colleagues look for the negative in a news story (referring to national media outlets) we try to go an opposite route.
We do not, nor cannot, ignore negative news stories in our communities. We do however avoid going out of the way to try to dig them up and/or stir the pot concerning them either.
We of course published the popular academic and athletic achievements made by our next generation at local school districts. We enjoyed lots of features on 50 years+ in marriage that unfortunately we had to place on hold due to lack of finding a weekly sponsor to cover our base costs for this extra column.
We saw a tremendous amount of excitement on the faces of new business owners at local chamber ribbon cutting ceremonies, I remember when we were the ones just starting out.
There is truly a lot to reflect upon when you review twelve months of local newspaper archives. Some say little happens within our small communities, I’d like to challenge that mindset.
I also made notes concerning areas of the paper in which I thought the design looked poor and could improve or maybe we could have “done better” in coverage.
Fortunately I viewed lots of improvement, especially with the full color we added this past year. While I wish everything I want to accomplish at The Village Reporter could be achieved quickly, it really is a baby step process, making small improvements along the way, sometimes a few weeks in between any perceived “improvements”.
We look forward to serving our local communities in the greater Williams County – Fulton County areas of Northwest Ohio in 2024 and appreciate your faith-ful support.
From our staff we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!
(Look, that long winded guy who writes occasional columns is capable of a reasonable word count for a change).
That is it for this week. I’d love to hear from you. As always, feel free to reach out to me at publisher@ thevillagereporter.com or via mail at 115 Broad Street, Montpelier, Ohio 43543.