It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind and forget to acknowledge some really good things I read in Wick newspapers from week to week. It’s human nature. The less-than-good stuff sometimes sticks out and the daily journalism that makes community is quickly forgotten.
Well, not this week.
As you may know, Wick newspapers send me subscriptions and I try to work my way through them as best I can. Today I found some gems – maybe not Pulitzer winners, but the kinds of things that speak volumes about these communities and are the very reason why readers can’t wait to take home your newspapers. So I thought I would mention a few here. It’s not a complete list of the good things that I saw, but it’s a start. (Oh, and please click on “Our best” every week to keep up with other good things found in Wick newspapers from week to week.)
- Brian O’Connor’s story headlined “Neighbor decries ‘landfill’” in the July 28 edition of the Mat-Su Frontiersman is the sort of story that can only be found in a local newspaper. Neighbors complain of an eyesore, but state and local officials say it doesn’t constitute a legal nuisance, so everyone is stuck with it. Brian spoke with the landowner, neighbors and code enforcement. It even ends on a high note when the landowner told him, “I feel bad … Things just kind of evolved there over time. I’m trying to get it cleaned up within my means.”
- The Montrose Daily Press ran a reasonable and well-reported editorial riffing off the news that the Boy Scouts of America announced it will allow gay scout leaders after all these years. The thoughtful editorial rightly takes to task a state legislator who, unbelievably, said that the Boy Scouts was promoting child abuse. From the editorial: “… We take strong exception to his implicit notion that a child who has been sexually abused has somehow ‘sinned’ in the first place, or that a gay man will automatically molest (and, conversely that other men won’t.) That is simply untrue.” Thanks for that.
- Matt Hickman of the Williston Herald continues to keep readers informed about his newspaper’s change to a morning publication in an opinion-page column. He explains that Monday newspapers are always a challenge and promises better papers in the form of the Herald’s new Saturday editions. It’s well written, of course, but also provides readers with a window into the decision-making process.
- Lance Nixon’s front-page remembrance of Fort Pierre, S.D., high school teacher Larry Giddings was worth the price of the July 31 paper all by itself. It opens with one student who remembered the time, years ago, when Giddings spent 90 minutes helping him with college calculus. There must be a half-dozen sources recalling the best math teacher anyone knew. The quotes from former students meant a lot to Giddings’ family, I’m sure.
- Brandon Messick figured out how to drive Web traffic at the Lake Havasu News-Herald: Write about cats. On July 28, he told the tale (or is it “tail?”) of a cat that stowed away in a hidden compartment of a power boat that ultimately sank on Lake Havasu. Amazingly, when the boat was raised, the cat was cut out of the hidden space and was no worse for wear. To say that the story got a lot of traffic is an understatement.
These are the stories that I want to read, in our papers and elsewhere. Thanks and keep them coming.