Brent Boyer: Coffee talk with the community
January 21, 2011
Steamboat Springs — Shortly before the holidays a group of clients from Horizons Specialized Services stopped by the Steamboat Pilot & Today office for a tour of the facility. I had so much fun during the ensuing 60 minutes that I almost forgot I was working.
Giving tours of our building is nothing new — I had given one to Lowell Whiteman Primary School students a couple of weeks before the Horizons visit — but every time I lead a group of community members through the office and its various departments, I'm reminded not only of how much effort goes into producing a daily newspaper, but also how little readers know about the processes involved.
Publications like the Pilot & Today ought to do a better job of encouraging their readers to participate in shaping how the newspaper looks and what it covers. A good newspaper should reflect the values of the community it serves, and its leaders should make sure the community feels like it has a say as well as an avenue for saying it.
Opening our doors and inviting readers to chat about the newspaper — or even just the news — is at the heart of a new monthly event that we're calling Coffee and a Newspaper. From 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. on the first Wednesday of every month beginning Feb. 2, General Manager Scott Stanford and I will have fresh brewed coffee and copies of that day's paper awaiting readers in our community room.
The goal is simple: to encourage readers to ask questions, share ideas and chat about the newspaper and the community we all love. We'll also ask other staff members to participate in what we think will be a fun, relaxing way to engage us about topics of your choice. Readers can watch the production of the live telecast of Steamboat TV18's morning show or ask Circulation Director Steve Balgenorth why their newsstand of choice runs out of copies of the Steamboat Today.
And if it's a tour of the facility you seek, we'll happily oblige.
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Brent Boyer is the editor of the Steamboat Pilot & Today. He can be reached at 970-871-4221 and bboyer@SteamboatToday.com.