Bleeding the Black ink

What a difference a year makes

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It has been just more than a year since the Craig Daily Press unveiled a brand new look, and a content package designed to provide the best in local news, sports, weather, entertainment and advertising.

With renewed vigor, we brought better, more thorough reporting on our local government entities, our schools, events and issues that continue to impact our area, such as chronic wasting disease, the debate over public lands and how those thousands of acres should be used, and the changing cultural landscape of Moffat County.

We have provided a weekly insight on the people, places and events that make our home so unique. We have shared with our readers the struggles and triumphs of individual agencies that have had such an enormous impact on those who live in our great area.

These stories and features have ranged from a look at Dinosaur's distant past that gave the town its name to its elementary school's uncertain future; from the events that threatened the existence of the Northwest Colorado Dental Coalition to its successful rebirth through the generosity of this community; from the positive and negative changes in agriculture that have been such an important part of Moffat County's heritage to the ongoing struggles to bring telecommunications technology to the area, which could play a key role in Moffat County's future.

We asked at that time of our redesign and continue to request that readers provide feedback about not only what we are doing right, but what we can do to improve.

And while we have, and continue to make progress, we also understand the challenges of overcoming past labels. We work tirelessly to accurately reflect our community in every edition of the newspaper. We work to make it local, but above all, personal.

This week, we hosted focus groups to solicit candid feedback about our publication and how it might better serve our community. We got some great information.

We also got some surprising information. We take pride in the quality of our overall package -- this means everything from the front-page story to the last calendar

item.

The participants in our focus groups told us that the perception was that the Craig Daily Press didn't run all letters to the editor, and didn't try to list every calendar item.

We're glad to know what the perception is, but we are proud to say that the perception isn't accurate.

We realize that many of our readers may have submitted letters or other items in the past that were not handled properly. And, just as we realize that once you receive poor service from a business once, you aren't likely to run back for more, we also realize that an open, honest approach to the past will help us move more smoothly into the future.

We want your feedback. We want your letters. We want your date book items. But most of all, we want to print what is important to you. We don't hold letters unless they have the potential to cause a lawsuit for either the party submitting the letter or the newspaper.

When we do hold a letter, the writer is notified and has every opportunity to make necessary modifications.

We don't omit items from the date book when they fall under our pre-established guidelines.

If you have submitted a date book item to run and you don't see it, please let us know before the event happens.

We are available to talk to you to confirm that we received the listing, and to let you know when you can expect it to run.

We wish we were perfect. We're not. But, we will make every effort to accurately reflect our community and, in doing so, to take the time to get the details right.

"Bleeding the Black Ink" is a weekly column that aims at getting readers better acquainted with the Craig Daily Press, the First Amendment and the newspaper industry. Do you have a question or an issue for an upcoming column? Call Terrance Vestal at 824-7031 or email him at tvestal@craigdailypress.com.

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