Editor’s Desk

Column: Renewing our commitment in a new year

December 26, 2013 

I read something the other day about the foolishness of making New Year’s resolutions.

The writer’s argument was that resolutions intended to last for an entire year were too big a bite to chew.

Instead, he said, we should make daily goals. If we meet those goals every day, at the end of the year we would have completed our New Year’s Resolutions.

So I won’t write in this space about making resolutions for 2014. Instead, I would suggest to you that the beginning of a new year is a time for us at the newspaper to renew our commitment to you, the reader.

It goes without saying that much has changed in the newspaper business in recent years. That’s OK. But one thing that hasn’t changed in our newsroom is a focus on providing news that informs, opinions that provoke thought, stories that entertain and photographs that capture your attention and hold it.

For all the changes you may have heard or read about in the newspaper world, I would argue that some of the changes have been downright great. We report news online now, not just in print. Posting a story to our website does several things for us and for you: It makes us more efficient and more competitive. And it provides you with useful news much more quickly. And when the situation warrants, we can update that news more quickly too.

Along with our attention to the newspaper website, we are also on Facebook and Twitter. Those platforms give us even quicker ways to get little snippets of news to you as events take place. If you’re a high school sports fan, for instance, you can just about keep up with games we cover on our twitter feeds as they happen.

The websites and social media also make it much easier to have community conversations, which I think is really kind of important for any community that wants to better itself.

But all the ways to communicate news to you and for you to respond to the news don’t matter if our news staffs don’t renew their commitment to bringing you the news. In whatever form we publish the news, we want to bring it to you quickly, thoroughly and accurately. That’s not always easy to do. In fact, sometimes it’s downright challenging, but it’s a basic tenet anyone in a newsroom functions by.

So as the calendars roll over to 2014, just know that we are focused on doing the best job we can at bringing the news to you. If there’s something you think we’re missing, email me at jwhitfield@newsobserver.com or call me at 919-829-4823. I’d be happy to hear from you and I’d be grateful for the chance to hear what’s important to you. That will help us keep our renewed commitment throughout the year.

That commitment isn’t new mind you. It’s always been there. The challenge for us, in producing two newspapers each week and keeping other news updated online becomes avoiding the threat of failing to see the forest for the trees. If we keep our commitment, that won’t happen. Happy New Year.

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