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It's Our Turn: What do you like to read in your community newspaper?

What do you want to read in your community newspaper?

We often ask that question, and we always get a large variety of responses.

Some people like the detailed, current news stories. Others like the human interest features. Some go straight for the engagements, births or obituaries while others grab the Sports section first.

Some people prefer the advertisements while still others turn directly to the Opinion or Outdoors page.

Everyone has their favorite parts of their community newspaper. That’s why we try to provide a variety of content – because all of our readers matter to us.

When you tell us what you want to see, we listen. It’s when you tell us what you don’t want to see that we can’t always oblige.

“I wish you’d get rid of the Sports section. I never read it,” someone once told me. Another person commented that we shouldn’t put so much “bad” news in the paper, such as crime, accidents, etc. And someone else shared their annoyance with the Opinion page, saying it was “just a bunch of rambling.”

Yes, this column is located on the Opinion page, and yes, some people may think I’m rambling. But that’s the beauty of newspapers – you don’t have to read what you don’t like! But we’re still going to continue offering all of those options and more, because for every person who doesn’t like a certain page, section or type of article, there are many other readers who do. And we want to please all of you.

Keep in mind that as your life changes and as you change, your favorite parts of a newspaper may also change. One woman recently commented to me that for many years she never even opened the Sports section, but then her grandchildren started participating on local sports teams and now it’s the first section she turns to.

When you are at an age where your friends are getting married or having babies, you may turn straight to the Milestone section, but in your older years, it may be the Obituary section you turn to.

We grow, we age, we change. My favorite parts of a newspaper today certainly aren’t the same as what they were 20, 10 or even five years ago.

So if you don’t like reading opinions, skip this page and head right for the parts you do enjoy. Don’t like the recipe page? Tear it out and use it to line your bird cage.

But please understand why we won’t stop running those things – because while they may not be important to you, they may be the first thing your neighbor turns to.

And you all matter.

• • •

“It’s Our Turn” is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.

Tara Bitzan

Tara Bitzan is editor of the Echo Press. She joined the company in 1991 as a news reporter. A lifelong resident of Douglas County, Tara graduated from Brandon High School and earned a bachelor of arts degree in mass communications and English with a minor in Scandinavian Studies from Moorhead State University. She and her husband, Dennis, and their children live near Alexandria.

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