If you happen to thumb through our print edition, past the editorial page and on to our Lifestyles section, I hope you notice a change for the positive.
Starting last week, we rolled out our plans for a redesigned and revitalized Lifestyles section. The goal: more features, more art, more appealing packages.
There are many subjects that can be gobbled up in a wide net and categorized as a “Lifestyles” story. Everything from school to backyard grilling and model-airplane building, Lifestyles is a section to include many of the things our readers and citizens are doing. And, to an extent, it is a place to highlight things that they can do to enhance their lifestyle.
Now, in 2014, website hits tend to be the more pressing figures than circulation numbers at some newspapers (not this one, I might add). We are still dedicated to our print edition. And, in saying that, we are making a conscious effort to invest more time and money into the production of our Lifestyles pages.
In the past, we have put out good feature stories and well-written articles in our Lifestyles section, but the way those stories have been packaged have lacked a certain visual appeal.
Yes, we pride ourselves in having informative pieces and being able to educate you, the reader, on subjects that you might not know that much about. But we also want to invest in a product that you find entertaining to read and fun to look at.
As the weeks pass, we will be exploring new types of stories beyond the standard pieces of the past. We will be looking at events happening locally each month and even national events that can be localized and taken advantage of here.
We also need your help. One type of story that the newspaper offers and is able to tell better than any other news media, with absolute certainty, is the personal feature. That person you go to church with who, without much fanfare, drives the elderly to and from service every Sunday without reimbursement just because it is the right thing to do. Or perhaps it is the store owner who comes to work early every day and delivers a free meal to families in need.
These types of stories need to be told. They should be told. Those stories are the good marks on our town’s history and, as such, should be recorded. And we can feature them as part of our Lifestyles makeover. But here is the catch – if we do not know about them, we can’t write about them.
If you know of a good story, please let us know. Not every idea will be considered feature material, but at least give us a call (931-728-7577) and let us know. Remember, we are here to serve you.
-Josh Peterson is the editor of the Manchester Times. He is a Tennessee Press Association award-winning writer and photographer. His column, “From the editor’s desk” won TPA first-place honors for best personal humor column. He can be reached by firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 931-728-7577 ext. 105. Click here to follow him on Twitter @joshpeterson29