Brent Boyer: Sharing makes us better

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Brent Boyer

Contact Editor Brent Boyer at 871-4221 or e-mail bboyer@SteamboatToday.com.

— Newspapers aren't much different than any other business. At the end of the day, we want to provide our customers (readers and advertisers) with a product they consider valuable.

As editor, my concerns are with the news content we provide readers. I think it's safe to say readers of the Steamboat Pilot & Today look to us first and foremost for local news and sports - information they can get nowhere else. The other news and information we provide - from state, national and international wire news and sports to comics and crosswords - is icing on the cake. Some of our readers love that we provide news from outside Routt County; others have suggested our resources would be better spent on reporting more local news than we currently provide.

It didn't take me long to arrive at the unfortunate realization that we'll never make everyone happy, but I'm excited about a couple of relatively new content-sharing agreements that are providing additional news content that I believe is of interest to our readers.

The first agreement is with several newspapers that cover Rocky Mountain resort towns similar to ours. For the past couple of months, we have been swapping local news stories with the Vail Daily, Summit County News and Ski-Hi Daily News (based in Winter Park). The result is the Mountain News pages many of you (hopefully) have noticed in the Steamboat Today.

Come newspaper awards season, these papers often are our competitors. But more important, I see them as partners in reporting and sharing news relevant to our readership. It's no secret Steamboat Springs, Hayden, Oak Creek and all of Routt County are undergoing significant growth and change. So are towns such as Winter Park, Fraser, Silverthorne, Frisco, Dillon, Breckenridge, Vail, Edwards, Avon and others. Our communities share many of the same challenges and face many of the same obstacles. I'm interested in how those cities and towns are dealing with affordable housing, immigration, education and other issues. I'm guessing many of you share that interest. And so the pages of the Steamboat Today now include stories from our neighboring mountain resort communities.

The second content-sharing agreement is newer but no less exciting. The Rocky Mountain News approached us a couple weeks ago with a proposal to share news articles and photos. For the Rocky Mountain News, such an agreement provides unlimited access to news from an area of the state it doesn't have the resources to cover. For the Steamboat Pilot & Today, the agreement provides access to some of the Rocky's outstanding state news and sports coverage and photos.

As Rocky Mountain News Editor and Publisher John Temple said to me during a recent conversation, exclusivity in the news business no longer holds the significance it once did. He's right. More important is simply providing our readers with information they want, and I think the content-sharing agreements established with other mountain newspapers and the Rocky Mountain News has put the Pilot & Today in a better position to do so.

I'm curious what you think about our content-sharing agreements and the addition of Mountain News pages to the daily paper. As always, I can be reached at (970) 871-4221 or bboyer@steamboatpilot.com.

New Friday columnist

Last week I wrote about some staff changes, and I neglected to mention local resident Rob Douglas has been brought on to write a weekly column. Douglas' column, titled "The View From Here," appears on page 2 of Friday's Steamboat Today. With an extensive background in national politics and privacy and security issues, Douglas brings an informed, intelligent voice to page 2. He joins Joanne Palmer (Life in the 'Boat, page 2 on Wednesdays), Deb Babcock (Gardening, page 4 on Mondays) and Jimmy Westlake (Celestial News, page 4E of Sunday's Style section) as weekly contributing columnists.

Boyer's From the Editor column appears Thursdays in the Steamboat Today.

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