Taking your ideas, suggestions and complaints to heart

Jan. 12, 2013 @ 05:14 AM

One of the sheer joys of my job (truly it is) is the opportunity to talk to readers on the telephone, answer their e-mails or just talk with them on the street.

Sometimes readers have questions about the newspaper and other times, they like to tell me a thing or two. Do I mind? No, I do not.

You see, the opportunity to hear what people think about our product is a good thing. Quite frankly, if I didn’t hear from our readers from time to time, I would really, really be worried. It’s like the brand new vehicle car companies manufacture each year. If they didn’t hear complaints or suggestions about how to enhance it, we’d probably all be driving a Model A.

So from time to time, in this column, I will try to explain “The way we do the things we do.”

Since my arrival three weeks ago, many readers have sent me an e-mail, jotted me a letter or picked up the phone to call me. I appreciate the fact, that many of you did that. It shows me is that you truly care about your hometown daily newspaper.

When newspapers were started, they were the comprehensive source for everything  — news, analysis, commentary, etc. Now, of course, such information is available everywhere via the internet, cable news channels and more. But since C-Span isn’t covering the local city council, county board or school board here in Rutherford County, a local paper remains a fantastic way to get all-in-one information.

That being said, all newspapers should annually examine why they do what they do. And we are doing that exercise at The Daily Courier. 

I believe in listening to our readers. We want to know what you want in the newspaper. So if you call to complain there is “no news” in the newspaper, I am going to point blank ask you what type of news you are seeking. Is it more crime? It is real estate transactions or court convictions? Is it more feature stories about people around Rutherford County? When I ask, I’m like the nagging old school marm who wants to know. Besides, how can we get better if I don’t know what it is you are wanting from your local newspaper.

We are not doing our newspaper any good if we feel that we are the final voice of authority in telling the story or offering our opinion in an editorial. It should not be the case. I know we have informed opinionated people who care deeply about the future of Rutherford County and are doing their part to see it improve.

That said, I want to assure our readers, that I will do my part to see that your newspaper meets your needs. 

During the past two weeks, I’ve asked our staff and various community members their thoughts on The Daily Courier. Did I get an ear full? Yes, I did. I want our staff and our readers to know, I take all of their comments very seriously. Some problems I will try to address as soon as possible, other problems will take time. So I ask readers to be patient.

Sometime during the next month, we will be inserting in your newspaper a survey. I ask that you, as a reader, take the time to share your thoughts and return it to the newspaper, via the U.S. Mail or e-mail. In addition, I’d ask that you not be wishy-washy in your answers. I’m kind of a “cut to the chase” type of gal, so make your point in a clear and precise fashion. 

Finally, just like car companies change and update their various lines of cars, expect that to happen at The Daily Courier. Once we have time to analyze your answers we look at our product and decide what we can do differently to meet the needs of our readers.

But hey — that’s just what I think. What about you? I’ll be looking forward to reading each and every comment we receive. We can’t improve if we don’t know what it is you want.

So let us know. It’s part of the fun.