Katrina Keith, chair of Ironton Alive, addresses eventgoers at the first Death to Negative Attitudes, (DNA) workshop. The DNA workshop is a brainstorming meeting to discuss ideas to move Ironton forward.
Katrina Keith, chair of Ironton Alive, addresses eventgoers at the first Death to Negative Attitudes, (DNA) workshop. The DNA workshop is a brainstorming meeting to discuss ideas to move Ironton forward.

Archived Story

Breeding positivity

Published 12:00am Sunday, March 2, 2014

More than 50 discuss moving Ironton forward

Carol Allen grabbed a black Sharpie and began fervently writing on an easel pad. She jotted down suggestions she feels would enhance Ironton.

Allen’s ideas for wayfarer and historical signage were just two of hundreds discussed at a Death to Negative Attitudes (DNA) meeting hosted by Ironton aLive at Buffalo Wild Wings this past Thursday.

Pedro resident Billy Bruce in his recent Ironton Tribune column coined the DNA acronym.

“We have to thank Billy Bruce for his column that generated so much buzz,” Katrina Keith, chair of Ironton aLive said. “We are so fortunate to have people here who really love their community and want to move it forward.”

The theme of the meeting couldn’t have been more apparent if it were displayed on one of restaurant’s large projection screens: Positivity.

“Positivity breeds positivity, I truly believe that and you all showing up is a huge accomplishment,” Jon Ferguson, executive director of Ironton aLive, said to the nearly 60 people in attendance. “We need to stay realistic with the goals we want to achieve. I’ve heard people say we need a Walmart in Ironton. OK, ask yourself what you can do to help get it here.”

The demographically diverse brainstormers included young, old, male, female, working, retired, elected officials, business owners and educators.

“We have to invest in our community, and to do that, we need everyone,” Keith said. “We can’t expect other people to invest here if we aren’t willing to do it ourselves. We are proud people. We are people of Appalachia and because of that we know how to survive.”

In the spirit of positivity, Ferguson bragged about the benefits of social media, but he also warned of its dangers.

“Social media can create a buzz about something or kill the buzz about something,” he said. “We have to ignore people who get on sites like Topix and criticize and try to make everything negative.”

Ferguson said he also took more traditional media to task in the past and previously challenged The Tribune to write two positive stories for every one negative story.

“The paper is getting better about everything not being negative,” he said. “When businesses or individuals are considering coming to Ironton one of the first things they look at is the local paper and use it to gauge the attitude of the community.”

Each person was then asked to write suggestions on notecards detailing what they would like to see — and in some cases no longer see — happening in Ironton.

“I want you to be open and honest,” Keith said. “If barriers exist they have to come down. Please share any of your concerns and ideas.”

The notecards were collected, will be reviewed, categorized and discussed at a future meeting. Enhancing local businesses, promoting the city and its events and Ironton’s design were the three main topics.

“We definitely want to work to help the local businesses in the city,” Ferguson said. “We have great events in the city already and we need to build on those and the design is just really thinking about how we want to be viewed.”

Ferguson lauded the work of existing groups who currently work toward these goals such as Ironton In Bloom and Friends of Ironton.

The number of people who showed up was “awesome,” Ferguson said, and he expects to see just as many, if not more, at the next DNA meeting, which has not been scheduled. A mass email of the notecard suggestions will be disseminated after they are reviewed and categorized.

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  • swampcreature

    Digi:

    Even the Herald Dispatch published a story on the tire slashing in print (page two item) a full day earlier. That paper is being delivered in the middle of the night. Plus, Ironton is not exactly its prime coverage area.

    I will say this. The Tribune did an excellent job on the story when it finally printed one.

    Tribune has done better work in the past. Thus, I anticipate better work in the future.

    And please, do we have really need an editorial summarizing that positove news stories this week topped negative news? Are we going to see such a ridiculous editorial every week?

    Can we simply let each reader decide that on their own, if they even care about compiling such data, and use that newspaper space to cover something new?

    (Report comment)

    • Brandon Roberts

      The Dispatch has staff there at all hours and publish at night. It was going to have it before us regardless since our office isn’t staffed after 5 p.m. and we don’t print until mid-morning.

      (Report comment)

    • Digi

      Well Mr. Roberts already explained the Dispatch issue and how they get things out faster. As for the single article on good news vs bad news, seriously does it merit all of this attention and complaints? I for one enjoy seeing feel good stories and don’t mind the occasional editorial showing that there are still good things happening in the town!

      (Report comment)

  • Digi

    One thing to keep in mind, it’s not like you see in the movies, no one runs in and yells “stop the presses” and suddenly new stories make front page headlines and are printed up instantly and hit the news stands. And comparing the Tribune to WSAZ isn’t quite fair either. WSAZ is live breaking news as it happens, they’d be out of business if they only ran day old news.

    (Report comment)

  • mickakers

    Brandon Roberts; My compliments, a true journalist, sadly lacking in our day per example Fox News (or so called news) primarily editorial. You and the Tribune keep up the good work.

    (Report comment)

  • swampcreature

    I don’t wish to skew the paper’s positive/negative statistics, but the paper is missing a day-old story on the arrest of two teens by IPD accused of murder. See WSAZ.

    I truly hope this paper does not allow any individual or group to become an agent of censorship.

    (Report comment)

    • Brandon Roberts

      We do not publish a Saturday paper and Sunday’s was already on the press when this story broke.

      (Report comment)

      • swampcreature

        Sounds fine Brandon. I guess I will catch it in Monday’s edition.

        (Report comment)

  • Brandon Roberts

    The “hard” news is in every edition and always will be. But, if something positive is newsworthy, it will be in the paper, too. That’s what I was trying to say in a nutshell.

    (Report comment)

  • swampcreature

    Did I really read the two paragraphs below? Is this why the Ironton Tribune took two days before it finally reported on the tire slashing in Ironton which WSAZ had already televised multiple stories on?

    Ferguson said he also took more traditional media to task in the past and previously challenged The Tribune to write two positive stories for every one negative story.

    “The paper is getting better about everything not being negative,” he said.

    Forgive me, but aren’t real journalists supposed to report news as it happens? Every community has negativity stories in its newspaper. Crime and business closings are simply a fact of life in all communities.

    I want to read the real news and not some fluff stories to appease some new group called Ironton Alive. Even the name of the group can be conceived as negative since it’s almost an open admission the city is basically dead.

    If Ironton Alive gets the Tribune to start counting positive and negative stories in each edition, I can ensure you the Tribune will also start counting less paid subscriptions!

    Newspapers are going out of business in this country at a record pace. This newspaper is facing the same, if not more, obstacles other papers are these day. With bad decisions like counting two positive stores for every negative story, the Ironton Tribune could end up on a lengthy list of closed-down newspapers.

    (Report comment)

    • Brandon Roberts

      A few clarifications are warranted here. First, as I’m sure you know, WSAZ doesn’t have to wait for a press to print and carriers to deliver a newspaper. Traditionally, as I’m sure you know, broadcast media has an advantage over print in regard to timeliness. Further, we did put the story online and on our Facebook page before the story was printed.

      Second, we are real journalists, and we report all the negative stories that occur in Lawrence County. Just look at our paper.

      Third, we aren’t appeasing Ironton aLive we are simply – as you claim to prefer – reporting the news as it happens. We didn’t make the story positive through reporting, it was a positive story.

      Fourth, Mr. Ferguson’s challenge to print two positive for every one negative is a figure of speech, not an actual count of stories. We do not and will not count stories. We report what happens, if it’s positive, it’s positive, and vice versa.

      The very paper in which this article is published has several stories about arrests (Rax robbery and South Point stabbing), indictments, courts, etc. Reporting on a meeting, a.k.a. doing my job, should not be used as a gauge for someone to create an imaginary alliance between the paper and any person or group. One quote from a person whose job is improving Ironton also should not cause me or the paper to be accused, blindly and wrongly, of purposely trying to do anything but our job, which is reporting the news.

      P.S. – Mr. Ferguson’s “challenge” to the paper was an informal one made nearly two years ago. He was simply doing his job as well.

      (Report comment)

      • AC4517

        Brandon- I asked this several days ago, but I don’t believe it was answered. Are there any plans to update the online records pages? Like police reports, marriages, birth announcements, etc? They have not been updated in several months and I’m just curious as to if/when/who will update them?

        as far as this article, I think its great that a group of people want to make positive changes in Ironton. As far as positive stories vs negative stories, I dont think it matters either way. The positive changes need to happen within Ironton first, and as a result, the articles will reflect the changes. Just my 2 cents.

        (Report comment)

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