• 57°

You can start your own newspaper…but I wouldn#8217;t recommend it

Imagine if you wanted to start a newspaper to communicate to the community about the good works your club or church has done or even the accomplishments of your child.

You’d have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to buy computers and software, to pay your printing bills and figure out a way to get your product distributed. That would mean, unless you’re Bill Gates, you’d probably have to sell advertising and subscriptions to raise the money to publish and that’s not easy n even for long-established papers. Most newspapers are losing subscribers and ad revenue rather than gaining it.

There is an easier way. Just send it to the News-Herald.

Reporter Ashley McKnight-Taylor mentioned in her Sunday column that we had some folks in town last week helping us with some computer issues and tweaking the redesign that we launched in January.

There were several things in the redesign that just weren’t working, at least not how we had envisioned them, for whatever reason.

So we changed a few fonts around and took another look at some of the design elements we were using.

The biggest shortcoming we identified was a lack of reader input. A lot of what we planned to do was based on readers of the News-Herald contributing material to the paper n particularly on this page and our lifestyle pages.

While we’ve had encouraging response to the Sound Off hotline, though it could be better, other features just haven’t really come to fruition.

Please take a moment to glance at the information at the bottom of this page. There are several opportunities for you or your organization to get news in the paper and better communicate with the community.

For instance, this space is open to anyone who has an opinion. All you have to do is write about 650 words and come in for a photograph. I would think this would be particularly useful for clubs and organizations to promote upcoming events or give a little deeper explanation of what it is you are doing.

Let us know about good deeds people or groups do for “Acts of Kindness.” You don’t even have to write those, just let the managing editor know about something nice that was done and we’ll do a story on it.

The same goes for “Ask the Expert,” and “We Can Do Better.” All it takes is a phone call to get your question or concern addressed. It can be anything from a problem with trash disposal to a neighbor with junked cars in his or her yard. Let us know about it.

Businesses can get free advertising on our Business Page each Monday. No, we will not do a story on a sale you’re having n that’s how we make our living n but we are more than happy to announce a new opening, an award, a promotion or a new employee.

On the Lifestyle Page, we’d like to have recipes. People are always interested in finding things that they can prepare for their families quickly and easily. If you have something, please share it with the community.

On Sports, we’re looking for photographs for our e-trophy case. It’s not just for dead deer and fish, but any trophy, ribbon or good performance from anyone from little league to senior citizen can be included.

I’ve had nothing but positive feedback on the changes we’ve made, but it’s somewhat discouraging to know the News-Herald can be so much better. We want you to take ownership in the News-Herald, to help us do a better job of covering our community. If you have any questions about how you might do this, please feel free to call me at 934-9611 or managing editor Douglas Grant at 934-9603 and we’ll be happy to help.

Of course, you can always just start your own newspaper, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Andy Prutsok can be reached at andy.prutsok@suffolknewsherald.com.