Bigger, better

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 19, 2003

It’s hard to believe a year has gone by since we started work on our Horizons 2003 edition.

Last week, we kicked off our 2004 effort with a little party at Cazadores.

We like to insert some fun into the project because over the course of the next five months, reporters and advertising sales people at the News-Herald will be stepping up the pace in order to successfully complete their jobs.


Email newsletter signup

Horizons, for those of you unfamiliar with it, is the News-Herald’s annual in-depth look at our community, its people and institutions. Several different themed sections publish over successive Sundays during February. It’s our most popular special project of the year and our folks here always do their best work.

The theme for Horizons 04, is &uot;Bigger and Better.&uot; It has a double meaning.

Suffolk is Virginia’s fastest growing city (hence, bigger) but &uot;big,&uot; in and of itself, does not necessarily mean &uot;better.&uot; Our community, however, is better, better than it was five years ago, better than it was a year ago. We have better companies moving in all the time – Target, Townebank, etc; better housing stock, improved communities, better test scores, etc.

&uot;Bigger and Better&uot; also has a personal meaning for us. The News-Herald continues to get bigger and, we think, better. Over the past three years we’ve refocused our commitment to covering local news and the good stories about the people that live here – the things larger media consider provincial, or not newsworthy. We’ve invested thousands of dollars in training our staff to better serve our community and invested heavily to change our offices into something in which our staff and community can take pride.

And our goal is to make Horizons 2004 the biggest and best Horizons ever.

Something new this year about which I’m excited is a section titled &uot;From Our Readers.&uot; It will be filled with the prose, poetry and photography submitted by our readers, family histories and Unsung Heroes. Please watch the paper in the coming weeks for details on how to participate.

As we have done the past three years, we will honor a Citizen of the Year for Suffolk. Unlike the Rotary Club’s First Citizen, which is focused on &uot;officialdom,&uot; the News-Herald’s Citizen of the Year is someone who it low profile, someone who’s not elected to anything, who has selflessly worked behind the scenes to make Suffolk a better place to live. Past honorees have included

Gin Staylor, who spearheaded the Kids Zone playground project and Donna Perry, who founded the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association and has raised lots of money for police and fire fighters. Watch for details on how to nominate someone.

Other sections will take a look at government and education, health, fitness and recreation, the economy and faith and family. We are also seeking tips on interesting people to profile in our &uot;People&uot; section. Please forward any suggestions to either me or managing editor Stephen Cowles.

So you will be seeing a lot in the paper about Horizons over the next several months and we look forward to working with the entire community to produce a product worthy of Suffolk. Rightfully, we’ve come to expect a lot of our city and we here at the paper expect a lot from ourselves. I’d like to take the opportunity now to thank our wonderful staff in advance. They have a huge challenge ahead of them and I have faith that it’s one they will meet.

Andy Prutsok is editor and publisher of the News-Herald. You can reach him at 934-9611, or via e-mail: