The Times West Virginian

Local News

January 30, 2012

Readers’ input vital to community newspapers

FAIRMONT — What does it mean to be a “community” newspaper?

The dictionary defines “community” as “a group of people living together in one place, especially one practicing common ownership.”

And when I think of the word “community,” I think of that phrase — common ownership.

It is not my newspaper, but our newspaper. And our readers don’t just “own” the newspaper because they purchased it at a store or through home delivery. You own the newspaper because the words and the stories and the pictures belong to you as much as they belong to any of our writers, photographers or designers.

There are so many ways you can contribute to the Times West Virginian, and we think of more each day. Because this paper belongs to each and every one of us.

• Have Your Say

Have you ever felt so strongly about an issue that you feel you have to put pen to the paper (or fingers to the keyboard) and write a letter? We’d love to hear about that issue, and we’d love to hear your side.

Send a letter for our Readers Write section of the newspaper so the rest of the community can be informed, too. Send your letter to mpoe@timeswv.com or by mail to:

Times West Virginian

Readers Write

PO Box 2530

Fairmont, WV 26555

• Give Us Your Best Shot

One of our favorite reader submissions is the Photo of the Week, printed in our Community section each Sunday. We get to see stunning photographs taken on exotic vacations, travels across the country or in our own back yard. Photo of the Week submissions may be made by emailing them to Danny Snyder, chief photographer, at dsnyder@timeswv.com. Only email submissions will be considered. Please be sure to include a description of the photograph, including names and locations, and a way we can get in touch with you.

• What’s Going On?

Does your nonprofit group or organization have an event going on? Let us know. Because if you let us know, we’ll publish it so all our readers will know, too. Items for the Community Calendar can be submitted via email to calendars@timeswv.com and will be printed three times before an event. If you have any questions, contact reporter Katie Wilson at 304-367-2548.

• News, News, News

We can’t be in all places at all times, so if there is an event that is important to your school, church or community group, snap a picture and send us a write-up and we’ll be more than happy to print it. Those submissions can also be sent to mpoe@timeswv.com.

• Got a Tip?

We’ve always got an ear open for a good news story, and we keep in constant contact with our official sources. But the longer I’m in this profession, the more I realize that often the best stories come from our readers. If you have a hot news tip, a heart-warming story to share or a suggestion about how to approach a story on everyone’s radar, call me or drop me a line. We love talking to our readers about issues or following up on leads they provide. You know what’s important to you, and it’s highly likely the same issue is just as important to many of our other readers.

• Scores and More

The sports pages are filled with so much of the information that’s important to you, from West Virginia University to our local high school varsity teams. But we know there are other teams close to you heart — junior high, freshman teams, junior varsity, recreational and travel leagues. Send us your scores and game information or team photos, and we’ll be glad to print them to share with our community. Send information to sports editor Tom Bragg and reporter Nick Cammuso at tbragg@timeswv.com, ncammuso@timeswv.com or call (after 5 p.m.) 304-367-2500.

Again, it’s not just that we appreciate the content readers send into us for publication. We know it’s what truly makes us a community paper.

My Press Pass is a twice monthly column written by Managing Editor Misty Poe to explain the news gathering process and editorial decisions made at the Times West Virginian. If there are any specific questions you’d like to see addressed, you may contact her at mpoe@timeswv.com.

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