Editor’s Column: What’s missing?

Niki Turner

Two of my favorite newspaper features are missing this week: the puzzles and Days Gone By. They’ll be back next week, but I thought I would explain their absence. (The school lunch menu is also missing.) We simply ran out of room in the pages we had allotted this week.
I expect to get a call or email about Days being AWOL this week. And some of you puzzle addicts, myself included, will have to be content with the kids’ page. As much as I love those things, they’re fluff. They make the paper more enjoyable and entertaining, but they aren’t journalism.
According to the American Press Institute, “Journalism is the activity of gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information…History reveals that the more democratic a society, the more news and information it tends to have.”
Would we notice if there was no coverage of school board? Town council? Commissioners? Or other “news”? I hope so. Folks certainly notice when a sports story isn’t covered to their satisfaction, or when a profile piece doesn’t run where they would have liked it. But who notices when actual news goes missing?
On another note, we (Caitlin and I) attended the Colorado Press Association (CPA) annual convention last weekend in Colorado Springs. Taking four days off is a challenge to an already packed schedule. We survived the drive to and from, with one hairy-scary episode in the Glenwood Canyon with a semi. Always fun. While there, we were the recipients of three second place CPA awards for editorial content in the paper and in the Northwest Colorado Hunting Guide. We still have to clarify, but it appears we were in the wrong category, and so were competing with much larger papers around the state. What better way to improve for next year, right?

We will be co-hosting a candidate forum with the Meeker Chamber for the recreation district’s board election on Monday, April 30 at the Fairfield Center at 6 p.m. There are 10 candidates running for three seats on the board. The public is invited to attend. You need to know who you’re voting for, what they stand for, and what their motives are for running for the board. We’ll also have an article in next week’s paper with background information about the candidates.

The flags were flying at half-mast Wednesday in honor of former First Lady Barbara Bush. You have to respect a woman who, upon stepping into office beside her husband, said, “I won’t dye my hair, change my wardrobe or lose weight.” We need more political figures like her in Washington: real people who aren’t swayed by peer pressure and the glitz and glamour of money and career politics. It’s unfortunate they seem to be so rare.