Keeping You Informed

Friday, March 17, 2017

One of the frustrations in the newspaper business is when I run into someone and they say, "I wish there were a place people could find out what's happening in town." These are usually folks who are organizing events, and they want to get their message to the public. And, the truth is, the newspaper has historically been the "town crier" for such events. In fact, we dedicate thousands of pages a year telling people about upcoming events.

Problem is, we don't always do it in a way that makes sense to all readers. Sometimes the notice appears on a calendar. Sometimes it's a brief story. Other times, it's a feature story. Readers might see such notices one day. On another day, they might be traveling and miss the story and thus miss the event when they return.

One way for promoters of events to make sure the public knows about something special is to buy advertising -- and employ frequency to deliver their message to everyone. But this can be costly, especially if you're a civic club or not-for-profit trying to organize an event that benefits the community but isn't something you're going to make a profit on.

Everyone seems to agree, though, that if there were one powerful place to share information, it would be great for the community. There would be no questions where to look, and people wouldn't be as apt to say, "There's nothing to do around here." Instead, a clear display of local activities would lead to a community that is more engaged, richer and more vibrant.

Creating such a powerful "town center" for community events is what we're doing at the Portageville Missourian. If you believe this is a good idea, we need your help.

We have been using our page 2, to place our Weekly Community Bulletin Board for date-related events taking place in the community. In addition to the Weekly Bulletin Board, we now have a website and a Facebook page where it's easy for organizers to post their events -- and easy for the public to find exactly what's happening here, there or wherever they want.

It is the intent of the Portageville Missourian-News to create a one-stop shop for everything taking place in Portageville, Lilbourn, and the region. But to make the calendar truly comprehensive -- from neighborhood gatherings, church dinners, club meetings, store sales, team banquets, political rallies, open Bible studies (anything you want to share with the public) -- we want to invite you to enter your own information our monthly calendar or Community Bulletin Board.

Within the newspaper industry, we joke that these new monthly calendars will be provided without federal stimulus dollars, higher taxes or other public financing. Government could try to provide what we're offering (and knowing it, eventually it probably will). But they'd do it only after raising your taxes -- and spending a lot more money than necessary. We're doing it with a business model where the cost resides only with private enterprise -- and the big risk is with us, the Missourian. Isn't that how we should do things in America?

If you agree, and you see the value of having a "town center" for community events, make sure to send or email your events to sseal@dddnews.com. Or, if you just want to know what's going on -- check out the next issue of the Portageville Missourian-News.

Let's make this area the best -- most informed -- it can be.