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Slings & Arrows

Sometimes all the pieces just don’t fit


I often hear that we don’t do things here at The Community News the way they are done at other newspapers.

That’s not good or bad — it’s just different. We strive to be a unique voice in the community.

It’s not necessarily that my way of doing things makes life any easier — in fact, it’s often the contrary.

An artist friend of mine once gave me a small sign that pretty much sums it up: “Wait - there might be a harder way!”

One business reality that all newspapers must follow is that there is a given amount of pages that can be allocated in a given week.

So traditionally the way most newspapers handle this is to pre-plan where the stories are going to go and how much space they will allocate. When a story is assigned, an editor will often tell the reporter “I need x-number of words.”

Here’s where I make it harder — for me.

When I work with a reporter for the first time, he or she will inevitably ask how many words I need.

I tell them I need how ever many words it takes to tell the story.

When it comes time to lay out the paper in this jigsaw-puzzle/tetris combination, I often find myself out of space.

So typically, if something is not time-critical, I’ll hold it to a future issue. There are slow news times of year (such as the first couple of weeks of January) and that gives me an opportunity to hopefully give stories that got delayed for some reason appropriate space to tell them.

There are also stories that happen at a given time — like this week’s story on the Rally Project — that lend themselves to the Good News issue.

Additional good news is that we still have additional Good News stories to share with you.

I’ve seen a lot of memes joking about how bad 2020 and 2021 were. But in the midst of the problems of those years, a lot of good things still happened.

So stay tuned. We’ll share them as we can, along with a look back overall at 2021. It’s been interesting pulling year in review material. A lot that seems like it was more than a year ago – but fun to explore.


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