Community newspaper is alive and well

Being in the newspaper industry is no easy feat these days based on the recent closures of the Rocky Mountain News in Colorado and the Seattle P-I in the past month, just as a couple of examples.

During the past two months there have been a number of changes here at The Reporter. For starters, we have new e-mail addresses, and I know e-mails sent to my old address are bouncing back.

Many in the community know we have a new editor, publisher and outside sales consultant and some were concerned that I had been replaced, too. Nope, I’m still here, you can’t get rid of me that easily. At least, that’s how it seems.

Take all that together and almost every one I talk to these days when I’m out and about in Covington and Maple Valley has one question at the start of the conversation:

“How is the newspaper doing?”

State Rep. Jay Rodne was the last person to ask me that while we were sitting together at a table at the Greater Maple Valley Community Center benefit breakfast on Thursday.

I am glad to know the community is concerned about the health of the newspaper. There have been changes, but I’ve been told we’re doing well enough.

We have a good thing here at the Covington/Maple Valley Reporter. With our recent print re-design and a shift back to the traditional community newspaper philosophy we are moving in the right direction. We have what you won’t get anywhere else.

It can get better, though, with your help.

A community newspaper should not be about us as journalists lecturing at you about what’s going on in your community. It should not be a one-way relationship.

Instead, it should be a conversation, where we share with you what’s going on in the community and you share with us.

Dear reader, you can do that by submitting photos for what we call our “Click” page, which is a photo only page full of faces from the community. We can get four to six pictures on that page easily. Send them in from your community events like fundraisers or cool Scout outings or your child’s AAU basketball game. The possibilities are endless. Photos can be sent to

Send us letters to the editor. We love hearing your opinions and sharing them with your fellow readers.

Comment on stories on our Web site. Keep it clean and civil, of course, but get the conversation rolling.

Take those videos you’re shooting and editing yourself and e-mail them to us. We can post those to the Web site. Then you can e-mail the link to friends and family across the country.

And please keep calling and e-mailing us story ideas. There’s two of us and more than 40,000 of you in our distribution area and try as we might, editor Dennis Box and I have not gotten this omniscient thing down. Yet.

Sometimes journalists fall into the trap that we are the only ones who can write, shoot pictures, and so on but the reality is there is plenty of talent out in the community. Please share it with us.

Tahoma High student Kirsten Crotts proved that a few weeks back with her article recapping her trip to Pres. Barack Obama’s inauguration.

And wait until you see the videos we’re getting from Rick Haag’s advanced video production class.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg and I can’t wait to see what else is out there.

I’ll be in Las Vegas for a week so surprise me with a pile of cool stuff to check out when I get back.