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Getting the word out
October 7, 2009 - Jim Smith
I had a great time Tuseday as one of the media panelists at a seminar conducted by the Volunteer Action Center for nonprofit organizations in the area.
Wendy Tuck, of the VAC, had invited me several weeks ago and I was looking forward to it. I have dealt with several of the attendees over the years and especially appreciated fellow Lions Club member Dan Decker, a Red Cross board member and disaster services volunteer, having nice things to say about dealings with The News and Sentinel.
Rich Schaffer, senior vice president of the West Virginia Credit Union League, was the moderator and put me and my fellow panelists — Doug Hess of Clear Channel radio and Bruce Layman of WTAP — through our paces.
The questions were straightforward and hopefully the answers were just as honest ... I believe they were.
The media is a competitive business, but that doesn't mean those of us in it don't want to do what is best for the communities in which we live and serve.
All three of us have similar problems: a limited staff to cover all the news we suspect might be interesting to our readers/viewers/listeners and limited space or air time to get all the potential news to our public.
Every news story/event is competing with every other news story and event for staff time and newspaper space or electronic media air time ... and what we term "best news judgment" is what decides what is covered and published or aired. It's not an exact science, but it's the only way to balance what local news is covered along with available state, national and international news in the available daily space or air time.
Obviously, I love talking about the newspaper industry in general and The News and Sentinel in specifics. The newspaper industry is what I've been doing for nearly 40 years and I can't think of anything I'd rather me doing, even though sometimes in feels too much like I'm hitting myself in the head with a hammer.
I hope the three of us were able to help the attendees at the VAC seminar, which I also hope will result in more and better information getting out to the public through the three news mediums represented on the panel.
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