Tricounty News

All good things must … evolve

Last week I had the good fortune to spend a couple of days with newspaper folk. Ours is such a solitary existance usually, toiling away at our remote outposts. So when we get together, it’s a lot of fun.

When newspaper folk get together they invariably talk about their newspapers but even more about their communities. You might be amazed at just how much our schools, city governments, organizations, churches, and people are alike. Same play, just different character names.

This still surprises me a bit.

But most of all, I am surprised at all the problems we as a newspaper don’t have in our communities. At some point or other, nearly all of my newspaper friends have been plagued by some major conflict or other in their communities. 

When talk turns to these problems, I sit there and smile. I have nothing to contribute to such a discussion. And I’m certainly not going to tell them that we enjoy a great relationship with the governments, police, fire departments, schools, organizations, and people in our communities. 

Another trait of newspaper gatherings is sharing. We share ideas for good stories, technical how-to’s, revenue ideas, and how to better serve our communities.

They say there’s no truly original idea in the world; that goes double among newspapers.

Although we’re pretty happy with the way our paper looks and works. But change is always a good thing, especially when it freshens things up and makes them even better.

So, as our brief and strange summer draws to an end and the start of school is just around the corner, we’ll be doing some serious evaluation of our current news products, both print and online. We hope to have some great improvements up our sleeves, and look forward to relaunching an all-new, even better Tri-County News in the near future.

We’d like your help!

In March and June, at the Kimball and Eden Valley Business Expos, several of you completed readership surveys that helped us understand better what you like and want in our newspaper and on our website.

Now, we’re looking for a readership panel. We don’t have any details yet, but we’d like to have a group of our readers from diverse backgrounds meet for an hour or so to review some of our proposed changes and give us their opinions. We’ll probably have a few small groups, meeting at different times of the day and in different towns; that way we can include the best cross-section of our readers.

Watch for more details here. We’ll let you know when and where the meetings will be, and how you can sign up for one. We’re not sure just what, but there will no doubt be some kind of incentive (reward) for those who participate.

It won’t be for some weeks, so we’re giving you a very early heads-up.

As we get closer to the start of school, we still are not sure how we will handle the combined vs. separate issues, the Tri-County News and the Eden Valley-Watkins News. We have some ideas floating around, but it will take some time to consolidate them and make them happen. We’ll probably continue as we did before school let out, with separate pages for each of the two school districts – until we launch our new-and-improved print newspaper.

Why mention any of this now, when we don’t have anything to really show you yet?

Change can always lead to confusion, and we really don’t like to confuse or frustrate anyone.

We’re still getting calls about our combined edition for the summer, and perhaps we didn’t do a good enough (or consistent enough) job explaining that to you, our valued readers.

The next change will have much more thought and planning behind it. And, we sincerely hope, will have a good deal of input from our readers and advertisers. We have two sets of customers, really, and we value them both.

With that said, we hope you all enjoy the rest of your summer, and that we have nothing but beautiful weather as we head into fall. (One can dream, right?)

Thank you again for the opportunity to bring your community news into your home each and every week. We appreciate it more than you know!