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Readers must put #039;community#039; in community paper

How come you never put anything good in the paper?" the voice on the other end of the phone asked.

"Well, sir, what do you consider good," I responded.

To which he was quick to reply: "I don't know but I haven't seen it."

When I asked the gentleman what he would like to see in the paper, he struggled for an answer. Thus the biggest problem myself, as a newspaper editor, and The Tribune's staff face.

What do people want to see in the newspaper. After all, we are truly our readers' newspaper. We try our best to stay on top of what is going on and find compelling human interest stories within Lawrence County, something that we feel we can do better than anyone else.

Do we hit a homerun every day? Of course not. But it is not for lack of effort. We have a small, but dedicated, staff that works hard to find those stories. But we need readers' help.

What do you want to see in the newspaper? Do you want more local news? Would you like to see more international and world coverage? Or maybe you prefer more sports or something else.

We need each and every one of you, our readers, to help us. Tell us what you would like to see. Give us a call if you know of something coming up that should be focused on. Let us know what you don't like. Write a letter to the editor expressing views on anything that means something to you.

The newspaper can be much more interactive than most people think. Without reader input, we are left to assume we know what people want to read. And we all know what assuming does.

So let us know your thoughts. Even if you just want to shoot the breeze for a few minutes. Suggestions, tips, complaints or friendly advice can be e-mailed to news@irontontribune.com, mailed to P.O. Box 647, Ironton, Ohio 45638 or by dropping us a line at 532-1445 ext. 24.

Our news staff believes we have some exciting changes on the horizon. Not to give away any secrets but readers can look forward to expanded coverage of Lawrence County, both towards the east and west, and into some of the more rural parts.

We also plan to revise our church page to feature faith-oriented content more prominently once a week. In this we will nee the help of local pastors who may want a new medium to spread their message.

But don't think this is everything. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

So when someone asks me, "How come you never put anything good in the paper?" I just say, "How come you don't either."

After all, it is your paper. We just help deliver it.

Michael Caldwell is the managing editor of The Ironton Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at mike.caldwell@irontontribune.com.