My View: Covering two high schools a balancing act
Adding another high school to the mix of news we cover at the South Washington County Bulletin has been a big change for us, and we've been hearing from some readers about how we're doing.
We've heard the most in regard to our sports coverage. On the extreme ends, we've had a reader threaten to cancel their subscription because we've got too much coverage of East Ridge teams, and another reader suggest they might switch over to Woodbury Bulletin because East Ridge sports aren't featured prominently enough.
As you can see, we're walking a tightrope right now, trying to find the perfect balance of coverage.
Because we have readers with students at both Park High School and East Ridge High School, both schools are of equal importance to us. However, that doesn't mean that on any given week both schools will be equally newsworthy.
East Ridge High School is still new, and new things tend to get headlines ... but it won't be new forever. Similarly, Park High School has years of alumni that are using our paper to keep an eye on the school's sports teams, but East Ridge High School is now starting to build its history and following. Spirit Week at East Ridge was featured in last week's paper, and Homecoming at Park is in this week's.
Spread out over a longer time period, like a year, I believe you'll see about the same number of stories on both schools, given equal prominence.
I am excited to share that in November, the Bulletin will have a new look that will include a sports cover featuring more than one story each week. This will give us the chance to feature more players, teams and schools on the front page of the sports section.
Adding another high school has had one other effect on us at the Bulletin -- we depend more than ever on you to submit pictures and information about sports and other school events you think are important. If you think a particular sport isn't getting fair coverage, tell us. It might be because we're not getting the information we need from the team's leaders.
To conclude, I am very thankful for all the readers who have let us know how they feel about the fairness of our coverage of the two schools because it gives us a chance to improve and explain ourselves. Our goal is to put out a product that you want to read, and your comments help us do a better job of that. Please continue to send me your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at (651) 459-3435.
Patricia Drey Busse is managing editor of the South Washington County Bulletin.