Go to the mountain

About once a year I go back to the farthest, darkest, creepiest place of the office, pull out and dust off my soapbox. I hop atop . . . and preach.
Here I go again.
Just what is a community newspaper?
A community newspaper isn’t a regional, county, state or national newspaper. A community newspaper publishes news and advertising that is timely and relevant to the community it serves. A community newspaper may (and should) find a local angle to a state, national or international incident, but it won’t fill its newshole with anything that ain’t local.
I can imagine your reaction if the community newspaper you are holding in your hands was full of news from Pontiac, Rochester, Birmingham, Flint, Livonia or anywhere else but here. Our niche, the reason you and your neighbors read us, is local. Local, local, local.
Anybody can slap a name down on some newsprint and call it a community newspaper. Locally, we’re the only ones who consistently pull it off. What did the old TV commercial voice-overs used to say?
‘Don’t be fooled by cheap imitations, buy the original Ramco-matic-slice-a-magic-banana peeler . . .?
‘Hey, Bob. Can I borrow your weed whacker??
A community newspaper isn’t some stuff-shirted rag that minds its ‘P’s? and ‘Q’s,? while dotting all the ‘I’s? and crossing all the ‘T’s.? A community newspaper isn’t written with the Queen’s English.
A community newspaper is colloquial. It’s the voice of its community. It reads and sounds like a neighbor on the other side of the fence. Hoity-toity? Nah, we’re just simple country-folk. Anybody seen the piece of straw that was just hangin? from my mouth?
That is not to say we don’t have to spell stuff correctly, we do (we try). And, it is a heck of a lot easier nowadays than in those thrilling days of yesteryear. (Note to editors and reporters: Can anybody say ‘spellcheck??)
Wake me up when the war is over.
A community newspaper is not indifferent. A community newspaper cares. Any community newspaper worth its salt is the cornerstone of debate from which all things local are established and built.
A community newspaper is the cheerleader when wonderful things happen locally.
A community newspaper is the voice of reason in turbulent seas.
A community newspaper mourns when the community grieves.
A community newspaper comforts the afflicted.
A community newspaper is a community’s conscience. It promotes citizenship. Through providing relevant, timely and interesting information, a community newspaper helps foster togetherness — a sense of community. A community is held together by a bond called the community newspaper.
A community newspaper affects change for the good.
How much is in the bank account?
A community newspaper isn’t a not-for-profit organization. A healthy commmunity newspaper provides its owners and workers with a modest living, through delivery of good, local news and effective, enticing advertisements.
A community newspaper is a business.
So, what is a community newspaper? Take a gander at what is in your hand. You know the product. You know where to go when you have a complaint. You know the editor when you see him or her in the grocery. What you’re reading is an award-winning community newspaper.
To be sure, we can improve and we will (with your help).
Got ideas for us, send ’em in. Send them to me directly or to Shermanpub@aol.com.
Ah, I can get off the box and take a breather.