Musing at week’s end
The speed of the news is ever increasing. On the national scene and in the newsroom at The River Reporter.
Historically being a weekly news source has always had its limitations in terms of timing. News breaking on a Wednesday could not reach readers until the following Thursday. That all changed with the addition of a digital presence which provides the means to deliver news almost immediately. And certainly, social media and e-mail notification newsletters provide an instantaneous connection.
We used that immediate email notification on Thursday to send out the breaking news that a one-car crash had killed a beloved young woman from Hancock, that Rep. Tom Marino was stepping down and that we had inaccuracies in a front-page story on the Honesdale Borough ambulance coverage.
In each instance, as the news came flooding in, the newsroom jumped into action doing research. A call was made to the coroner’s office; an internet search on what happens when a representative steps down was conducted. Additional interviews were conducted to ascertain the nuance and the details about ambulance coverage and contracts in Wayne County.
Because it isn’t just news that we’re after. We’re after confirming that the news we hear is true. We’re about understanding what happens in the process going forward.
How is the empty seat in the House of Representatives filled? By special election, we confirmed. And what happens in the meantime? See the story here for details!
And we’re about correcting what are inevitable mistakes. Like this week’s story on Honesdale's ambulance coverage. Our headline was incorrect (And while corrected on the website, it is still incorrect in the print version. Correction next week. See? Limitations.)
We were happy to correct the story online. We drew attention to the correction in the email notification. We posted it to our own social media (Facebook, link here; and Instagram, link here) as well as social media pages in Honesdale.
We worked as a responsible news agency. And according to online analytics, thousands of people responded and read the stories.
People were connected to the news that they could use.
I think about this connected community as I ponder the incoming storm. The first of the two dropped two inches of light snow at my house. Now we wait. The forecasts change; no one really knows how much snow will fall. When or where there could be ice.
Around town, people are looking forward to spending a weekend at home. A chance to take down holiday decorations, try a recipe, or simply to sit in one’s chair.
I think about those most vulnerable in our community with the report of the frigid cold that will follow a storm. I muse on old drafty houses.
I think about federal employees, not knowing when paychecks will start. I sympathize with the uncertainty and concern whether medical premiums and retirement payments will be paid.
The world is moving at a frenetic pace. There is a certain uncertainty.
Except for one thing.
We are all connected. Through the news and through the communities we build together.
Be safe in the storm. And if you have the time, write us a letter to the editor and let us know what's on your mind.