The community's newspaper
If youíve logged into social media anytime in the last month, youíve likely seen a meme involving a blonde-haired lady arguing with a cat.
There are countless versions of the meme, but they almost all show the blonde-haired lady saying something ridiculous and then being corrected by the cat.
My favorite one popped up last week. It features the blonde woman saying ďWhy didnít anyone tell me about this?Ē The cat, always with the last word, replies: ďIt was in the newspaper!Ē
Sadly, Iíve seen that exact conversation play out on social media more times than I can count. For instance, someone asked why no one knew about the Berryville School Districtís $20-plus million construction project before voters were asked to approve a millage to pay for it. The answer, of course, is that plenty of people did know about it, thanks in part to at least a dozen stories and a special series on the topic in this newspaper. Thatís just one example.
Now, Iím not naive enough to believe that we cover every newsworthy story in this county. Iíll be the first to admit that we sometimes miss things. Sometimes, thatís because we are simply unaware. Please, if you know of something that merits coverage, let us know ahead of time. Call me or email me and weíll do our best to be there.
Other times, we donít have the manpower to get to everything that we need to get to. For example, as I write this on Monday afternoon, Iím due at the monthly meeting of the quorum court in about three hours. After that meeting, Iíll come back to the office to write the story and finish getting the Midweek paper to the press. Our associate editor, Samantha Jones, will be covering an important meeting of the Eureka Springs Hospital Commission. Reporter Haley Schichtl will be at a school board meeting. But there are two school board meetings and no other writer available. We simply canít be everywhere that, in a perfect world, we would be tonight. So weíll follow up on one of the meetings by phone.
There are still other times when we know something is going on, but we canít get anyone to talk on the record or get our hands on any documentation to back up the story. Thatís frustrating, especially when itís something people are talking about on social media. We do our best to work through that and get the information we need. But sometimes we canít, and unlike the things that are sometimes posted on social media, we canít print something that we canít back up.
Still, Iím very proud of the newspaper we produce. Our goal is to be a reflection of the community we serve and to keep our readers informed about whatís going on ó the good, the bad and sometimes even the ugly. We are all blessed to live in a place where the good is far more prevalent. My opinion of our newspaper is biased, of course, but Iím also very proud of the 75 or so awards our staff has won over the past three years from the state newspaper association. That reinforces my belief that we are doing some things right.
Earlier today, someone posted a ďreviewĒ on the paperís Facebook page.
ďNever much of anything in there,Ē the review says. ďNot worth paying for the paper. Sorry.Ē
For the record, a yearís subscription to this newspaper costs $36. Thatís for two papers a week, 104 papers a year. Thatís 34.6 cents per paper, delivered right to your mailbox. I mean no offense, but if you canít find 34.6 centsí worth of value in this newspaper, you might have larger issues.
Having said that, I know there are plenty of folks out there who are devoted readers and appreciate our efforts. I hear from you occasionally, and it always brightens my day. Thank you for reading and supporting us, and please donít hesitate to call or come see us. This newspaper belongs to the community and we take that responsibility very seriously.