Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Subscriber feedback jamboree, part two

Gary of Glendale is a loyal subscriber who obviously loves our paper. He likes The Glendale Star because “too much emphasis on Chamber of Commerce activities, youth sports.” This reads like a criticism, but I’ll take it as a compliment. “You can never have enough Chamber of Commerce activities,” is what my mom used to say when she realized that I, at the age of 4, would become publications manager at two weekly newspapers.

So we know what Gary doesn’t like. But what doesn’t he like? If he could change The Star, he would “expand letters to the editor, invite guest editors.” The letters to the editor, like classifieds, are dictated by you, the community, and trust me when I say we publish almost all of the ones we receive, even the ones that arrive handwritten and barely legible with coffee stains via courier or fax and that we have to retype ourselves. So keep ‘em comin’! Via email, however! Or at least typed! PLEASE. As far as guest editors—that is definitely an idea. Our editor, Carolyn Dryer, has not had a vacation in 38 years, so that would be good. Maybe you, Gary, can guest edit? I have a feeling it would be the least Chamber of Commerce/youth sports issue ever! I am game. YOLO.

But let’s get down to the heart of the matter. Why do people really enjoy our papers? Let’s go to Sue of Glendale. She likes The Star because “I enjoy reading.” So there you have it. Our papers are definitely something that can be read, what with all the words and stuff. This is high praise because not every newspaper is readable. Like newspapers that haven’t been printed yet, and The Wall Street Journal. It’s like, what are they even talking about?

But Sue is not the only one impressed by our surplus of words. William of Glendale likes The Star because “I enjoy all the articles that are written.” Believe me, William, if you like the articles that are written, you should read the ones I have only thought of. I have thought about articles like, “Peoria: what’s with all the streets?” and “Council meeting ends in dance off.” I think these are great ideas but no one listens to me around here. Anyway, thanks.

Yet there remains a point of contention regarding exactly where our words are printed. Elena of Glendale writes “Do not change and go online. I like printed news.” Pam of Peoria adds, “I do not go ON LINE to read. Some of us still like to read a newspaper. Thank you for taking care of us. Don’t ‘ON LINE’ yourself out of business.” I’ve received several renewal forms with similar feedback, and I’d just like to stress that we are not forcing anyone to use computers. Our websites will not infringe upon our print product … until, of course, computers take over the world and DESTROY US ALL. When that happens, you’ll be the first to know. Please keep checking our websites for updates. I mean … whatever.

Finally, let’s check in with John from Glendale. If he could change The Star, he would change it “to The Chandler Star. I moved.” Thanks, John! I will ask. (Probably not, though.)

Thus concludes two weeks of my own playful riffing on your honest suggestions. In all seriousness, I cannot stress enough how grateful we are for the feedback and suggestions we receive. We operate only because of you, the community, our loyal readers, and we take everything you have to say into consideration. You keep us moving and you make us better, and I hope we continue to keep you informed and entertained. I ... I love you. Did I say that out loud? Oh well.

Note: This column appears in the 5/30 issue of The Glendale Star and the 5/31 issue of the Peoria Times.

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