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‘Publishers Ponderings’ Category

  1. Publisher’s Pondering: November 3, 2013

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    November 3, 2013 by wcobserver

    Observer publisher busy at work comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.

    By Steve Winkler, Publisher, Web Editor, Photographer, Writer and Chief Agitator– Back in the Observer’s glory days when we put the ink on the paper (a “real” newspaper, as some say) we had an occasional column called “Publishers Pondering” which was neither editorial nor hard news which was mostly ramblings by myself or co-publisher Susan McCarthy. This post (that’s what they call an editorial, article or feature in online publishing these days) is a salute to that tradition.

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  2. Same Thing, Just Different

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    March 26, 2012 by Steve Winkler

    editorial-300x300

    Reality has overcome optimism … again. Our two year effort to bring quality local journalism back to the small town communities of south Washington County has ended. We were struggling in a business climate where size matters and the economics of scale rules. “Too small to succeed” is no less true than “too big to fail.” Add to that the fact that the newspaper industry has been in a downward spiral for a decade. Experienced newspaper people have always been skeptical of our belief in creating a profitable publication in a sparsely populated rural part of the county. The south part of the county has a lot of good people but is bereft of any of the commercial enterprises whose advertising dollars could fuel our venture. Cost cutting efforts eventually resulted in a downsized product. Going from being a weekly publication to every-other-week along with an increased single copy, vending price resulted in decreased circulation which in turn means fewer papers need to be printed. Our printer in Berryville was recently absorbed by a larger company in Harrison. Small independent printing companies reflect the shrinking character of the newspaper industry as a whole. In the glory days of the Observer …

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  3. Publisher’s Editorial: Out with the old … blah, blah, blah

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    January 8, 2012 by Steve Winkler

    NewandImproved

    Going the full 52 rounds is bound to jar one’s brain and body, so it’s okay that I feel dazed, confused, and stupefied after a year publishing this little weekly paper in the depths of the worst economic conditions in 50 years. With some dedicated, unselfish help from dozens of writers, dedicated staff, scores of supporters, family and friends, this little rag-tag free press enterprise is staggering into the New Year.

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  4. Let’s Explore All Revenue Options

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    November 10, 2011 by Steve Winkler

    West Fork’s councilmember Rodney Drymon might have been onto something at a budget workshop a couple weeks ago when he suggested that the only city department capable of increasing its revenue was the Police Department. What he might have overlooked is that not only does the city get a portion of traffic fines, but because the police are the city code enforcers they can generate revenue from ordinance violators as well as speeders. There’s some real money there.

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  5. Publisher’s Pondering: Micro-Alternatives, Global and Local

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    November 10, 2011 by Steve Winkler

    From Steve Winkler There are over 15 individuals whose words regularly appear from time to time on the pages of the Observer. Other than a small stipend for some news and sports reporters, the columnists, feature writers, and commentators selflessly contribute to this community project. Sometimes the editors will suggest a topic or a story idea may come from readers but more often than not, the topics for articles and columns originate with the writers.

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  6. Screen Time Addiction

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    August 10, 2010 by wcobserver

    You almost have to be living in a shoe box not to be a part of the electronic age.  The electronic revolution has happened in a compressed time frame, in less than 25 years.  We have columnists in their 80’s who can tap out a column and email it; they download photos and provide computer tips.  Electronics has changed conversation forever and it is more apparent in young America than anywhere else.  No one is disconnected; the mind never rests.  People sit in silence, yet there is never a quiet moment. Gone is handwriting; it’s all about keyboarding.  The art of letter writing…nearly extinct…140 characters can say it all in a “tweet.”  Forget about calling; texting is the way to go.  Facebook is a must.  If you get a lull in the moment, plug in your ear buds and listen to a podcast, or read an e-book.  Unwind tonight with some good television screen time while your kids play video games in the room down the hall.  Who has time for a meeting; just email your team member three cubicles down and ask when their work on the project will be done.  No need to learn to spell…lol. It’s a …

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  7. Beware of Bed Bugs

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    July 28, 2010 by wcobserver

    By Susan McCarthy susan@wcobserver.com I’ve never been much of a trend-setter.  Marketers refer to people who are the first to buy or change their behavior  as early adopters.  They’re the first to “go organic”.  They own the first electric cars or the latest I-Pad.  But this week, my family and I find ourselves in a newspaper headline with the likes of Victoria’s Secret, Abercrombie and Fitch, and Hollister’s at the top of a new trend.  We had bud bugs. Sure we had warning signs, but they were easily explained away.  Itchy little bites on my youngest son; we took him to the doctor twice.  Impetigo, apparently a common skin infection in young kids who scratch a lot, was cleared up with antibiotics, but after a few weeks, more bites.  We blamed them on chiggers.  We live in the country.  There were little tiny dots of blood on the bed sheets.  Bleeding from scratching his “chigger” bites, right?  Apparently, that is one of the tell-tale signs; the rascals poop blood on your sheets.  We even explained away some bugs that were on my older son’s bed at least a full month ago.  They’d hung on the line overnight.  We re-washed them …

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