Making a difference: We value our relationship with our readers

Your newspaper staff spent the weekend in Laramie for the annual – the 113th annual!—winter convention of the Wyoming Press Association.

During these gatherings, we share stories, compare notes, talk about our papers and go to seminars designed to keep us current with new technology and professional practices, as well as train young staffers, and old, in writing, photography, ad sales and graphic design.

The convention also serves as a pep talk to help us realize that what we do week in and week out is relevant in our communities, especially in Wyoming, which has some of the strongest community newspapers in the nation.

We also attend awards ceremonies, and once again, Big Horn Basin newspapers, including your Chronicle, fared very well in the annual contests. The Chronicle crew won 14 individual awards, known as Pacemakers, which rewards our team for the long hours they put in producing the paper every week.

But far better than winning awards is receiving feedback from our readers and knowing that something we wrote, photographed or advertised made a difference.

A great example was reporter Patti Carpenter’s front-page article last week about the high number of animals at the Lovell Animal Shelter that needed to be adopted or face being euthanized. The pound was full, Patti reported, and Animal Control Officer Phil Angell was worried that a number of animals that would make good pets would have to be killed, including a number of very nice dogs. The front-page layout included three heart-rending photos of dogs and a cat.

Voila! The story ran, and within days, all of the dogs at the pound had been adopted thanks to warmhearted readers who read the story, saw the animals’ plight and stepped in to take a pet home. One pup was even adopted by a truck driver who was passing through town, read the paper and called to adopt.

In another example, last week’s story about new doctor Debbie Brackett was so well received by readers that many people called the North Big Horn Hospital Clinic to make an appointment with Dr. Brackett.

Do people read the newspaper? You bet they do!

We’re not pointing this out to pat ourselves on the back, and these are just a couple of small examples, but we want our readers to know that, even in the electronic age, your community newspaper is relevant and important in the life of Lovell, Byron, Cowley, Deaver, Frannie and points beyond. Truly, we value the relationship we have with our readers, realizing that it takes a partnership to produce a quality newspaper.

And for that, we say, “Thank you.”

–David Peck