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Some commandments

April 29, 2011

The Northern Reporter is back with a great post offering some commandments for a community newspaper.

Read his list here.

I agree with all of them, but the “they don’t care about how many reporters you have,” might not be a commandment so much as a rueful observation. There’s simply nothing you can do to please all the sports wackos out there who want you to cover events you don’t know about.

It’s best, I think, to take advantage of those who wonder why you don’t cover something by begging them to send stuff in. If they don’t, their loss.

I’ve been trying to think of some more commandments, but NR might have nailed all the broad, general ones. There are many guidelines for running a tiny community paper that the editor of a paper in a larger city could ignore, and vice versa.

Sorry for the paucity of recent posts. I can’t promise they’ll become more frequent as the weather gets better and I get busier. That said, I promise an in-depth CCNA and Ma Murray recaps next week thanks to a whole plethora of undercover volunteer observers (Hint: they’ll be the drunk ones). There may or may not be photos too.

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  1. April 30, 2011 at 8:46 am

    You are my new favourite person! Thanks for sharing that.

    • April 30, 2011 at 8:47 am

      Yeah, this is in reply to Tim Shoults, I’m not just shouting nonsense to nobody …

      • April 30, 2011 at 9:04 am

        Thanks for reminding me of it! I had it on my wall back in Squamish but I left it there last summer and forgot about it. Thankfully CCNA still had it up online.

  2. April 29, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    No one’s ever shown me it – I think no one knows where it is – but there is supposedly an old joke piece someone wrote once on what people expect for they 50 cent paper. Wish I could find that, I’m sure that would tie in nicely to the list.

    I just know there’s more I can add, but drawing a blank as to what.

    • April 30, 2011 at 7:36 am

      Ask and it shall be given unto you…

      I’m going to give 75 cents to the newspaper staff. Divide it up any way you wish.

      Now, for that 75 cents I am giving you tonight, I want you to deliver tomorrow to my house a newspaper that will contain more reading matter than the current best-selling novel.

      I want all the news. And I want every bit of it to be fresh. I want pictures of all local accidents, fires, meetings and events that I’m interested in; and I don’t want to see any that offend me, either.

      I expect you to tell me who died, who was born, who was divorced and who was married in the last week, including the last 24 hours.

      I want to know what those guys in government are doing with my tax money. I want to understand all of the important events, plans and results, but I don’t want to have to waste more than a couple of minutes on your story.

      I want to read just as much about the Liberals and New Democrats as the Conservatives and Reform party.

      Don’t tell me you can’t do it. That’s what I invested my 75 cents for. The only reason you won’t do it is because you don’t have any competition.

      I want all the supermarket prices, a list of people with used cars for sale, the movie and TV times and the closing stock market prices.

      If I break the law, I don’t want you to print my name in the paper, and I have a friend who is in trouble, too, so you can leave that out, too.

      Another thing, I’m sick and tired of misspelled words in your paper. For 75 cents, you ought to do better.

      By the way, I eat promptly at 5 p.m., and my paper had better be at my front door before that. Not on the steps, not in the rain, not in the front yard.

      When I meet you on the street, I expect you to tell me all the inside dope. I expect you to serve as publicity chairman for every committee in town, too. If I call the paper and ask how many kids Al Capone had or in what round Dempsey knocked out Tunny (or was it the other way?), I expect you to know and to tell me.

      Right then.

      Next week I am going to start my own business, and I want a news item about it. A picture would be even better. Advertising? No, if you run the story and the picture, I won’t need any advertising.

      But, if you straighten up, I will give you another 75 cents for the day after tomorrow.”


      • April 30, 2011 at 1:18 pm

        This is awesome.

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