Home' Local Media Today : July 2005 Contents WEAVING A CLOSE-KNIT COMMUNITY
One of my all-time favorite editorials appeared in one of our
weekly newspapers, the Ambler Gazette, last year at this time.
Written by editor Neree Aron-Sando, it so perfectly sums up the
heartbeat of our community newspapers, that I’d like to share it
One of the clichés we use to describe community building is
“knitting the community together.” Think of community as an
extra-extra large wool sweater. It needs the application of heat,
water and friction to shrink it down to a comfortable size, to soft-
en the scratchy new wool.
In the coming weeks, just as there have been in every summer
we can remember, there will be ample new opportunities to shrink
the amorphous, disparate masses of humanity living within the
borders of our towns into something more comfortable, something
as familiar as an old sweater.
In the next few months there are and will be fetes, carnivals,
strawberry festivals, flea markets, swimming parties, block parties
all kinds of celebrations — where the strangers who are our
neighbors can bask in summer’s heat, splash in the pool or dunk-
ing booth or summer downpour, and rub shoulders to become, if
not friends, then at least acquaintances. Our townships and bor-
oughs are full of new faces, people who have moved in from other
parts of the country, from rural areas in our own state, from the
cities, from other countries.
We’re all separate and can be a little leery of each other. But
we all know, deep down, each family, each person has something
to contribute to the community, a skein of wool of another color or
texture, something to make the sweater a little prettier, a little
The faces will stream past and stand next to you at Fourth of
July parades, or occupy the next blanket as you and your children
await the first burst of fireworks.
Attend every celebration you can, this newspaper’s calendar
of events is a good place to see what is happening in your commu-
nity. Some of the events will be free. Some of them will be raising
funds for one worthy cause or another charity. Be as generous as
you can afford to be and watch as your counterparts do the same.
Study the faces around you and enjoy them and the process as
they become more and more familiar. More comfortable.
And when you see us, slim white notebooks and pens in hand
or cameras slung around our necks, say hello. We’re on a mission.
We’re there to record the point of contact when strangers become
neighbors and neighbors become friends. We’re out to get to know
you and introduce you to each other.
And compliment you on your sweater.
I have framed the excerpt regarding our reporters and pho-
tographers and it is displayed in our office for all employees and
visitors to see. It serves as an ongoing reminder that community
and suburban newspapers are the integral thread of the fabric of
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day before the conference kick-
off. This gives meeting partici-
pants the opportunity to conduct
business without missing any
As of this writing, advertisers
that have agreed to participate
include: Jeff Deitz, TNN
(L’Oreal, Big Lots, etc.); John
Casey, Ace Hardware; Randy
Novak, Alliance Media (Sears),
Bill Gamble, American
Communications Group (JC
Penney); David Crawford,
Strategic Print Marketing (The
Home Depot); Shannon Wagner,
NSA (Pier I Imports, Toys R
US, The Sports Authority,
Meijer, etc.). Representatives
from the following retailers
have been invited: Valassis,
Walgreens, Dick’s Sporting
Goods, TJX Companies, CVS,
Academy Sports, Sears and
Stage Stores (Peebles, Bealls,
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To sign up for your private
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The Big Kahuna
Everyone’s got an idea or two to
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process! The Great Ideas session
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Attendees are urged to send
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Materials have also been mailed
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contact SNA at 888-486-2466.
SNA Fall Conference
-c ontinued from page 1
SHARE YOUR IDEAS
Ann Hoffman of Cox Ohio Publishing shared one of her great ideas
at the winter conference.
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