Brent Boyer: Coffee and a Newspaper event helps with story ideas
April 7, 2011
Steamboat Springs — As is the case for many media organizations, some of our best stories are the result of suggestions or tips from readers. There was a time when many tips came in the form of phone calls and anonymous letters. Today we're just as likely to be turned on to a good story by a Facebook post, tweet or email.
On Wednesday, the suggestions came in the form of old-fashioned, face-to-face conversation. About 20 readers converged in the Steamboat Pilot & Today's community room for our third Coffee and a Newspaper gathering. It was fantastic to see so many people take time to chat about the newspaper.
At some point, we asked our guests to share their thoughts on the stories they'd like to see the Pilot & Today cover, or perhaps do a better job of covering. Here are some of the responses:
■ An update on Kiewit's takeover of TIC, including how many employees remain at the Steamboat Springs location, the impact to the community of the lost jobs and the future of the TIC campus.
■ Real estate stories that talk to sources other than "cheerleaders" (i.e., real estate agents and mortgage bankers).
■ A story about downtown parking that explores what the city has done with funds paid by developers who obtained variances from supplying the amount of parking called for by city codes.
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■ An update on the tax policy advisory board and the future of Steamboat's tax base.
■ A series of investigative pieces about the quality and cost of local health care.
■ A detailed look at local regulations that may stand in the way of businesses.
■ An examination of how the down economy is forcing many residents to reinvent themselves as professionals in the workforce.
■ A story about SmartWool and what the city is doing to try to hang on to the significant business and local employer.
■ A look at the exodus of local professionals in their 30s and 40s and the shrinking career growth opportunities that might be responsible for their departures.
■ More coverage of the local nonprofit community.
■ An increase in articles about the positive things happening in Steamboat.
Other more general responses from readers Wednesday included a need for more investigative reporting and more rigor in fact-checking the claims made by one side or another on any given news issue.
There are a lot of worthwhile stories listed above, and I know there are many more out there. What topics would you like to see covered in the newspaper? Email me at bboyer@SteamboatToday.com or call 970-871-4221.
Brent Boyer is the editor of the Steamboat Pilot & Today.