A newspaper is only as strong as the community it serves.
Having been editor of The Sentinel for about eight weeks I think Morrow County is very strong. And getting stronger.
I know the history of the paper and the county and its roots run deep, going back nearly 170 years. I also know recently some folks have been a bit frustrated due to news events not being covered or submitted content not appearing in our print edition.
I arrived in late June and immediately heard those comments. Over the past weeks I’ve taken steps to fix those issues. We put a community calendar back in the paper the first week and we’re gathering police and court news more regularly, as you have requested.
We are a local weekly newspaper with a very small staff. But our goal is local news and local advertising to fill as many pages as possible each Wednesday.
We also put all local news and sports content on our web site at www.morrowcountysentinel.com. Photo galleries and occasionally videos also appear on our site.
The point is our commitment to local news coverage has been renewed. I have edited nearly a dozen daily newspapers over the past four decades. There is no secret formula.
However, a couple of things must exist for this to work. An editor and a staff dedicated to producing good local content each week. We have that, in my view.
We also have a strong connection to the communities we serve. We are a county seat newspaper and attempt to cover as much of Morrow County as possible, given our resources.
Last week’s front page serves as a good example. We had a county commissioners story, a Cardington school board update, a Relay For Life feature and a new market and deli opening in Marengo.
We have individuals and groups who submit news to us. We strongly encourage you to continue doing that. You serve as our eyes and ears in the villages and townships. Thank you.
We just cleared the backlog of stories and photos that had not appeared for various reasons — some dating back to April and May. Now that we’ve done that it’s time to move forward.
Please send me an email if you have a news item or a story idea. Cooperation, I have learned, is the key to success.
We pledge to work with the community, schools, non-profit groups, government agencies and businesses to get more local names and faces in the paper. That’s the name of the game for us.
I was taught that in 1980 by my first boss, Ed Looman, at the Coshocton Tribune. All these years later — and with the advent of technology like email and iPhones — it remains true.
We may not be able to cover everything in the county, but we try to hit the key events and issues. With your help The Morrow County Sentinel will continue to be the primary source of local news, sports and advertising for you.
Thanks for reading.
Conchel can be reached at 419-946-3010, extension 1806 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.