A talk on community journalism
The editor of the four Pikes Peak Newspapers weeklies, Michelle Karas, sent out the following message:
I find there are quite a few people in the area who don’t know what Pikes Peak Newspapers is or how they can send us information, story ideas or feedback.
I joined the group via Zoom, with some members joining virtually from home and others gathered for a luncheon meeting at a local restaurant. After their regular meeting, I was given the Zoom “floor” to talk about my roles in this newspaper the three others I manage for Pikes Peak Newspapers.
These weeklies are the epitome of community journalism. That, to me, means we have the opportunity and the obligation to share neighborhood news that larger newspapers don’t have the space or the time to feature. For instance, nonprofit news and updates, Eagle Scout projects, scholarship awards, business promotions and features, school news and drive-by birthday parades.
Our weekly papers are free, do not require a subscription, and are hand delivered (for the most part) right to your door, if you live in the ZIP codes that comprise our coverage area. If you don’t get delivery, you can subscribe.
The Sertoma’s motto is “Service to Mankind.” Newspapers are a public service of sorts, but also we are a for-profit business.
How do we manage to bring you this news for free? We are advertising driven. The size of the paper depends on the number of ads our advertising team sells on any given week.
The questions I received from my gracious Gleneagle Sertoma hosts included “What are the biggest stories you’ve reported since COVID?” and “What are the challenges you’ve faced since the start of the pandemic?”
The pandemic is the biggest story of modern history for every news company. In the weeklies, our COVID reporting has focused on local cancellations, school updates, how business are coping, ways people are adapting to stay in business through the pandemic restrictions, and preps sports changes. If COVID has touched your life in some way, we’ve tried to address is in these pages.
Our biggest challenges range from keeping employees safe and working from home while continuing to do their jobs to basic economic issues.
For the past 10 months we’ve done our best to follow your advice. You’re seeing more of what you want and less of what you don’t.
We’ve been chipping away at a redesign of the papers we hope to launch quite soon. Stay tuned for more updates on that.
For those not familiar with this paper and the other PPN papers, let me tell you how easy it is to share a story idea with us or give us feedback: Just go to pikespeaknewspapers.com, choose which paper you’d like to interact with (Cheyenne Edition, Woodmen Edition, Tri-Lakes Tribune or Pikes Peak Courier) and click on “contact us.” You’ll be directed to a screen from which you can send an email that is seen by both editorial and advertising staff. From a dropdown menu you can choose from options including “Advertising Inquiry,” “Story Tip” or “Letter to the Editor.” I see every one of these.
You can also email me directly at the email address below with contacts in other departments.
Your suggestions and general feedback are what makes the paper even more local and integral to this community.
We couldn’t do it without you!