Please share your good news with us

By SUSAN AMUNDSON,

There are many advantages to having a local community paper like The Columbian-Progress. I know sometimes it can be aggravating when we only published twice a week, and it seems like the news could be old by the time you receive it in our instant ready world. However, we offer positives as well.

I believe the first and most important thing is we care about Marion County. Our jobs are not 40 hours a week jobs; several staff members continually do more than 40 hours to ensure you are getting a great paper. We know there are daily papers and television stations that can bring you instant news coverage, but they are concerned about the story and not so much the people behind the stories.

I have cried over stories in our paper, whether they be good or bad, whether I know the people directly or not. I have written stories that have broken my heart, and I am not the only one who has either.

But we also love celebrating with you as well. We get excited when great things happen. For example Freedom Fest this year. Let’s face it, it was a million degrees outside that day, but I enjoyed being out in the crowd meeting and talking to people and building relationships.

There are a few things you should know about us though. We want to hear from you as well. We want to celebrate birthdays with you. We love weddings and engagements. We love sharing life with you and we really want you to share life with us.

Yes, we love the sunflowers and big garden vegetables and the interesting and out of the ordinary things.

This includes even story ideas. I love going outside the box with stories. I’ll travel all over the county for stories, and I do it because I love it. There is so much in this county to learn but if no one will share their hidden gem, I may never find it, so please reach out to me.

Yes, a lot of things are shared on social media but not everyone has social media, so please keep that in mind. And the tone can become negative and toxic so quickly on social media that it can drown out the good things going on.

The Columbian-Progress used to have a thriving society page with marriages, births, birthdays and more. The C-P didn’t do away with it; people just gradually stopped submitting their news.

We want to change that. We want your news; we want to share life with you. We want to see Marion County grow and thrive. Yes, we know in order to do that you have to report the good, bad and the ugly.

Most events we cover, if you notice we stay for the entire thing not just long enough to get some quotes and a picture unless we are time pressed. Because we are interested in the outcome of the program or game.

In the Saturday editions you see a section “Looking Back” that reports on news stores from the C-P in past decades. Have you noticed how many things happened and were reported in the paper?

There are still a lot of things that go on in this county that is never reported because someone may not think it is “newsy” enough. Go for it! We want to see it and so does everyone else.

This is a community paper, being put together by members of the community. Of course as a business we want to grow but we want you, our readers, to grow with us and we want to grow with you.

So as a community, let us make this paper a real community paper, not only with items written by the staff but also items written by you!

The next time your church, civic club, school or family has an event, please consider sharing with us — and your community.

Susan Amundson is managing editor of The Columbian-Progress. She may be reached at (601) 736-2611 or via email at samundson@columbianprogress.com.

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