By LaDonna Beeker
I’ve been editor of The Observer News Enterprise for two years. I can guarantee that one thing still remains the same: We report the news about Catawba County for residents in the county. The main thing The O-N-E strives to do is to continue serving its readers – Catawba County residents. In order to do this to the fullest extent, we need to hear from our readers.
The O-N-E is a community newspaper, and we work for the public in Catawba County. We cover news, from school events to council meetings to profiling people who make up this community. In addition, we report on breaking news in the county to keep our readers informed. Sometimes the news is not so pretty, but other times, it’s the news you might want to cut out and tape inside of a scrapbook.
Catawba County is the largest county I’ve worked in as a journalist. I must say, even though I could be biased, I think The O-N-E does a good job at getting the news out to our readers.
We are members on Facebook and Twitter. If you haven’t started following our tweets, joins us @TheONENews. We update breaking news on our website as it happens, which is then posted on our Facebook page and in our Twitter feed.
We strive to stay on top of stories we know our readers want to be aware of, such as the outcome of a big accident they drove by on a Sunday afternoon or the final verdict in a criminal case from a missing person. But we also want to share the feel-good news about the accomplishments and creations from our residents.
However, I know there’s news out there we don’t know about. I know there is someone who is working on a masterpiece in his or her basement. Or a child who is planning the next fundraiser to benefit a nonprofit. Even though these are just examples, my point is that you – the readers – have story ideas.
The editorial staff at The O-N-E is comprised of myself, Staff Writer Nash Dunn, Sports Editor Cody Dalton and Outlook Editor Barbara Burns, as well as a couple of college interns. Publisher Michael Willard covers events and writes stories as needed. As you look at the number of people on our staff, you will notice that we do not have enough reporters to be in every city or town on a daily basis. But we do have one thing – and I will say it again – readers with story ideas.
We get a lot of emails from community leaders and public information officers who want us to cover events or have story ideas. We really do appreciate those ideas because, as I’ve mentioned, we can’t be everywhere at once. So when people send emails, call or stop by with information about an event, we do the best we can to produce a story. In fact, I can’t think of too many times we weren’t able to make it out to an event.
In the instance we can’t make it to an event, we always encourage our supporters to take snapshots and submit written information to us. We publish submitted information throughout our daily newspaper. On the other hand, we publicize an event to let the public know because we want to bring as much support to organizations as possible. We want to support the community that supports us.
Next time you are talking with a girlfriend on the phone or even walking through your community, be The O-N-E’s eyes and ears. If you see something or hear about something that you think will make a good story, give us a call. If you would rather email, feel free to do that. You can reach me at email@example.com  or call (828) 464-0221 ext. 314.
Help The O-N-E continue to be the newspaper you count on for Catawba County news.
LaDonna Beeker is editor of The Observer News Enterprise. Her column appears in the Friday edition. Reach Beeker at firstname.lastname@example.org .