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April 30, 2013
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Editor’s Notebook: Your calls, our reporters, keeping it relevant at 146

It’s a privilege to work for a business that’s been in existence for 146 years, particularly when it’s been such an important source of news and information during that time.

As The News-Review celebrates its 146th anniversary, there are thousands of people who can reminisce about the days when they worked here and the changes they observed in the news business, whether they worked in the newsroom, advertising, circulation, pressroom, distribution, the business office or as newspaper carriers.

There are many more who can recall stories that had an impact on their lives. Clippings of those stories may be in a scrapbook, shoe box or among mementos buried deep in some desk drawer. Maybe they’re stories of successful businesses, athletic feats, academic events, fundraisers, hobbies or simply photos of Douglas County residents living their everyday lives. Others have kept newspaper copies of historic events: The Roseburg Blast, the 1964 floods, the day the first man landed on the moon.

The fact that someone took the time to clip these stories and save them points to the importance of a newspaper in a community and our lives. It reminds us that no matter how much the newspaper industry evolves, the job that newspaper reporters do every day has value.

In today’s technological world, many of us see news tips passed along through Twitter and Facebook. We read bloggers who have myriad opinions to express. But true journalists still do the hard work of digging up the facts, holding government accountable and reporting a lot of news that everyone wants to read but few can write.

Newspaper reporters sit through three-hour council and school board meetings, some with heated debate and others painfully boring, to find and report the stories that affect people’s lives. Reporters and editors request and read public records and work to ensure that taxpayer-funded entities maintain the transparency we all need them to have.

Reporters learn the details of grisly crimes and deaths and must distill them into stories fit for a family newspaper. They call families who are grieving over the loss of loved ones so we can tell readers how the deceased lived, and not just how they died.

When we make those tough phone calls, we get responses because we clearly state that we represent The News-Review. Our easily recognizable name and the credibility that we work so hard to maintain — though we admit to being human and making unfortunate spelling and grammar errors — offers us accessibility that unknown bloggers and tweeters don’t get. That allows us to provide in-depth stories with more than one source to confirm the facts and paint a picture of what occurred when, where, why and how.

But it’s not just the big stories that get coverage in The News-Review. We report stories that reflect our community. We write about Eagle Scouts, centenarians and future physicists. We cover Graffiti Weekend, Music on the Half Shell and the Douglas County Fair. We interview loggers and environmentalists, business owners and CEOs of nonprofits, politicians and everyday people.

We try to provide space to announce every community event, whether it’s a 4-H barbecue fundraiser, a concert by a visiting symphony or a seminar on invasive weeds. We attend and write about as many happenings as we can, but with the growing number of activities at competing times, we know we miss some worthwhile endeavors.

We take seriously every phone call to the newsroom and every request for news coverage. Your calls means we continue to be relevant, whether you read us online at nrtoday.com or you still like to hold a newspaper in your hands. Even when you call to complain, though we are disappointed to hear we’ve made a mistake or upset you, we appreciate that you continue to read our newspaper so carefully and that you care.

We look forward to working with you in the future as we strive to publish the best midsized newspaper in the state. Douglas County deserves nothing less.

News-Review Editor Vicki Menard is nearing her 30th anniversary with The News-Review, having started as a reporting intern and working her way up to editor. She can be reached at 541-957-4203 or vmenard@nrtoday.com.


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The News-Review Updated May 1, 2013 11:53AM Published Apr 30, 2013 12:36PM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.