In this together

As we flip into the New Year, my thoughts go to community and the perception of the world in opposition to itself.

Even though I know it’s not particularly helpful, I worry a bit. The winter weather is so very strange. The national government is in partial shutdown. Federal workers and contractors are living in financial uncertainty. Federal programs are shutting down. The stock market is tanking. Undoubtedly you have your own list of concerns.

Still, there is good news in the mix. There is resilience in community. In family. In the simple and in the ordinary.

There is resolve here at The River Reporter that the paper continue to serve the community in the year ahead.


Here’s what the staff wrote down as the paper's purpose when prompted at our Wednesday staff meeting:

  • ~connecting readers with information and news they can use
  • ~providing regional and lifestyle specific content to the largest potential subscribers without alienating demographics we may be unaware of
  • ~educating,  entertaining, and communicating
  • ~keeping the community informed and engaged
  • ~delivering information that people want and need
  • ~offering a trustworthy source of local information to people in the region
  • ~getting the news out, fostering community involvement, being the to-go place for information and providing jobs


Mostly what it tells me is that we are in this together.  And at this time of turmoil, we need to turn toward each other.  Here’s a poem by Margaret Wheatley that echoes my sentiments on our way forward.


Turning to One Another

There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about.

Ask: “What’s possible?” not “What’s wrong?” Keep asking.

Notice what you care about.

Assume that many others share your dreams.

Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.

Talk to people you know.

Talk to people you don’t know.

Talk to people you never talk to.

Be intrigued by the differences you hear. Expect to be surprised.

Treasure curiosity more than certainty.

Invite in everybody who cares to work on what’s possible.

Acknowledge that everyone is an expert about something.

Know that creative solutions come from new connections.

Remember, you don’t fear people whose story you know.

Real listening always brings people closer together.

Trust that meaningful conversations can change your world.

Rely on human goodness.

Stay together.                                 (copyright © Margaret Wheatley)


So let’s talk. How can we pull this off? How can the paper best serve you and the community? Write me at







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