Why we do what we do
I've been wondering if we here at Lancaster Newspapers should add a motto to our masthead on the front page.
"Almost All Local ... Almost All the Time."
Sort of catchy, don't you think?
I suggest this in jest, of course. And yet, there's more than a little truth in it.
On most days you will find only news and features that focus on Lancaster County on our front page.
Why is that? Because local is what we do. It's who we are. Seven days a week.
That doesn't mean we don't tell you what's going on in the rest of the state, the nation and the world. Of course we do. But that news tends to be found on our inside pages, not on A1.
Same goes for our digital formats, everything from LancasterOnline to our Facebook and Twitter content. We stress local. We REALLY stress local.
Now this is not what newspapers usually do. They usually mix their local content with the top stories from elsewhere. That's the norm.
But we're not normal. And, we're proud of it.
Our front-page philosophy, which we have extended to our Sports, Lifestyle, Business, Entertainment and other sections, is that you can find news from elsewhere in a growing variety of print, broadcast, cable and digital locations.
But not informative and entertaining news about people, places and things in this community.
That doesn't mean, of course, you'll never find a story from one of our wire services on A1. Some stories just rise to such a level that we feel compelled to use The Associated Press, The New York Times or other wire report out front.
It would be simply irresponsible not to run the national story on the re-election of a president or the impact of Hurricane Sandy on our front page. And we may aspire to be many things, but irresponsible is not one of them.
What we will often do is localize a big state, national or world story.
·When the pope retires, we talk to clergy and parishioners here and tell you what they think.
·When it's the 10th anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq, we talk to local veterans and scholars.
·When the governor unveils his plans to privatize the sale of liquor, we approach it from the point of view of local lawmakers, businesses and consumers.
You get the idea.
But, of course, we do a lot more than localize state, national and world news.
Our real bread and butter is coverage of local news. And to explain what's going on in such a way that you can make an informed decision on how you feel about a certain issue or public official or controversial proposal.
That's why in recent weeks we've gone into great detail about such matters as the shortage of retirement-home beds here, what really happened at the chaotic and deadly fire scene on East Madison Street, the widening gap locally between the cost of rent and residents' income, and how every mayor in the county feels about gun control in their borough.
It's local news and information.
Print and digital. Seven days a week.
It's what we do.
And who we are.
Count on it.
Contact Peter Mekeel at 291-8899 or email@example.com.