Editorial…News is a community affairIt’s a challenge being in the news business these days. With a natural disaster of unprecedented proportions hitting Carlton County, the news began changing faster than a weekly newspaper could report it.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
It’s a challenge being in the news business these days. With a natural disaster of unprecedented proportions hitting Carlton County, the news began changing faster than a weekly newspaper could report it.
Our predecessors in the news business only a few short decades ago had little option but to put out the proverbial “EXTRA!” edition peddled by newsboys on street corners when breaking news occurred that people needed to know about. Now, with computers in the majority of American households, the news is just a keystroke away.
For quite some time, we have relied on our website to turn the Pine Journal into a daily (and often hourly) newspaper, and that capability became even more valuable in reporting on the flood. That is one of the joys that the Internet affords us.
Over the past two weeks the Pine Journal phone lines and email accounts have been literally buzzing with updates from the police, sheriff, emergency management director, Red Cross, United Way, Volunteer Services and other non-profit support organizations, government officials, health organizations – well, you get the picture. Often there were updates to the updates almost sooner than we were able to process them.
Those who signed up for News Alerts on the Pine Journal’s website, www.pinejournal.com, have received real- time updates on the flood situation. A special section has also been set up on the website titled “Flood 2012” to include all updates on the flood’s aftermath, the “people stories” that have come out of this devastating event, legislative updates on flood relief, and helpful guides on flood cleanup and community resources. The information will remain on the website in the weeks to come and will be accessible free of charge to anyone wishing to read it or reference its content.
Readers also stepped up to the plate in recording the flood news almost as it happened. Many who were already dealing with loss and displacement were thoughtful enough to send along photos to their local newspaper as a means of recording this historic flood for our region. Still others, such as freelance writer Jolynne Denman (whose first-person account appears in today’s issue of the Pine Journal) shared with us their experiences and reflections on the clean-up effort.
Thanks to all of you, we were able to become “Carlton County’s Newspaper” in the truest sense of the word.
A newspaper belongs to the community it serves, and we take off our hats to all of those of you who have helped make and report the news of the past couple of weeks – at a time when we all need to reach out to each other the most.