Literature in a Hurry: Newspaper 101 - What do we do?
One of my favorite things about my job is that it gives me an excuse to ask people questions. Every week, I get the chance to ask government officials, business leaders, students, and regular people to tell me what they're doing and why they're doing it.
While I don't always love that this job makes people suspicious - I can't tell you how many times I've been having a casual conversation and someone will (in jest, I hope) ask whether my tape recorder is on - I feel always grateful that my job affords me the opportunity to be curious every day.
Over the last several months, I've realized that readers in the community have many of the same questions about this newspaper - what do we do every day, and why do we make the decisions we make?
And unfortunately, we're not always great at answering those questions publicly, even though we do our best to answer them individually when readers take the time to ask through a letter, visit to our office, or conversation in the Willie's checkout line.
With that in mind, one of my goals for 2013 and beyond is to help remedy this situation by using this column to try to provide more information about how the newspaper works and answer some of the questions we are often asked: Why isn't a story on your website printed in the paper? Why do you print the District Court report? Doesn't being owned by a corporation mean you don't make any of your own decisions?
(The short answer to that last question is no, but I'll get into that at another time).
This week, I thought it would be prudent to give a brief overview of the publications and products we produce and distribute each week.
The Morris Sun Tribune and Hancock Record are both produced at our office in Morris on Pacific Avenue. We have a staff of 10 people who, weekly, put out both newspapers as well as three advertising supplements - the Ad-Viser, the Classy Canary and the Western Peach - and maintain our website, www.morrissuntribune.com.
The Ad-Viser is a shopper exclusive to the Morris Sun Tribune, while the Canary and the Peach are common to several newspapers in the region, and the three differentiate based on their circulation.
As you know, the Morris Sun Tribune comes out on Saturday. We put together each edition on Friday in our office, then send the digital pages to Willmar to be printed. The paper is picked up late Friday night, then makes its way to readers through the mail, newspaper boxes, or carriers.
That's quick, I know, but I resolve to get into more details in the coming months. Happy New Year!