I have found that, sometimes, one of the most rigorous aspects of being a reporter is trying to find "that" story to write about.
To me, "that" story would one that is just different than objectively reporting on what is done and said at the town councils and school boards I regularly attend.
Don't get me wrong. Going to those meetings is a necessary part of #smalltownpr, and often their concerns are echoes of what is important for you and me as citizens, parents and businesspeople. I'm also saying that the more cultural and personal elements are just as important and interesting, both for you and for me as a reporter.
I said in my last blog post that I didn't think myself as a culture critic. I also said in my very first entry that it would be important to get to know people, and listen to them as they talked about what's going on. That has not changed. I, and really we as a paper, report on what should be seen and heard from you guys. And it doesn't have to be all about politics or the latest road construction screwup.
Take what I wrote about Bob Campbell and the Empty Nest Adventures, Joe Buser and the Indiana Film Race, or the deconstruction of the former "Jones Property" by DePauw students and faculty. Those are real people in our community who have been doing things which put a positive spotlight on this place you and I call home. Those are the stories that I very much look forward to writing about because they are different.
I have indeed been fortunate to connect with others in the same way as I have covered my meetings, but these stories are the meat of Greencastle and Putnam County as a place that I think is still trying to discover its potential.
To say that I "like" my job as a reporter for the Banner Graphic is a gross understatement. I relish in staying on top of stories. Sometimes I have found them through luck, but much more often, it has been you guys that have led me to that story. That's #smalltownpr in action, and I want to see that continue.
Call the newsroom. Stop me and tell me what's happening and what might make a good story. Keep in touch, because we are only as good as the information we have.
Help me, Jared and Eric help you tell your stories. We can't do it without your support and the trust you put in us as your local newspaper. Besides, we need a little exercise to keep us in shape.