COLUMN: Changes in how we do things an opportunity to serve you better

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By John Herndon


They say change is inevitable.

Sometimes we like it, sometimes we don't. But the bottom line is that we either have to recognize that simple fact of life or go crazy while we are left behind.

Such is the case with the sports pages in The Anderson News. We are having to make some changes starting with the January 16 edition of the paper.

For some people, especially those who simply read the paper to stay abreast of what is happening in the sports world around Anderson County, the changes we are undergoing might never be noticed. However, to those who are active sports participants and those who like to submit items for publication, the changes could take some getting used to.

These changes, which I have discussed back and forth with Anderson News publisher Ben Carlson and others who are involved in the production of the paper, are ones that will allow us to continue our award-winning level of local sports coverage and investigative projects that you have come to expect from us.

Because of some changes in how we print the paper – and we think they are going to enhance your experience with The Anderson News – we had several printing options available for our sports. Without going into the play-by-play of how the paper is put together, suffice it to say we decided on the option that would allow us to continue to provide the highest possible level of local sports coverage.

To do that, we now have significantly earlier deadlines for the sports news submissions that are very important to our readers. Unfortunately, they are not flexible.

The first deadline to remember is that all submitted sports copy and photos must be in by noon on Thursday for consideration in the next week's paper. This includes announcements concerning upcoming events, schedules, news items, youth and church league sports scores and just about anything else that would not be “breaking” sports news.

I can already hear people saying, “What about my son winning a race on Friday night or me shooting an 18-point buck on Saturday? You mean I have to wait an extra week to see that in the paper?”

Nope. Not if you get the photo and information to me by 8 a.m. on Monday morning. We understand that a large portion of sports news happens over the weekend. But we also believe it is not unreasonable to ask that the information be submitted quickly.

Just e-mail me at jpherndon@theandersonnews.com or sports@theandersonnews.com with the information. If you have a photo, just attach a .jpeg file to an e-mail and send it in. Be sure that photos are set to the highest possible resolution. You can also use our website, www.theandersonnews.com, for submissions.

If you don't have a computer or don't do e-mail, you can mail it in or utilize our drop box, located on the south side of our office, next to the Best Western, and we will get it.

But weekend sports results must be in by 8 a.m. on Monday. Not 8:30. The easiest way to make sure results are in by our deadline is to send them in as soon as possible after the completion of an event. With so many electronic devices having e-mail capabilities, it should not be a problem.

Events that I normally would cover, such as high school football games, are not affected by the changes.

We can still use people who want to write or take pictures for publication. That is a huge help, especially in getting team news out. We can't pay anything at this time, but we will handle all of your credentialing so you are admitted to events as working media.

That is exactly how I got my start when Elliott Garrison, the former owner of The Anderson News, offered me the same opportunity when I was in high school. Let's just say that was a long time ago.

Then, after getting away from it for a while, I asked former publisher Don White for the chance again. He agreed. Several other writer friends have similar stories.

We don't care who turns information in. It can be a coach, a parent or a student. We just want the information, but with nearly 20 varsity teams just at Anderson County High School – and that does not even include junior varsity or freshman clubs – and many other teams at Christian Academy of Lawrenceburg and Anderson County Middle School, plus countless youth teams, there is no way a one-person sports department can get to everything and still have some semblance of family life.

We want to publish your news but can't if we don't have it!

As always, we utilize our website for quick synopses of events we cover if you can't wait until Wednesday's paper. We also use the website to post more photos than we can possibly put in the print edition of The Anderson News.

And for up-to-the-minute updates and commentary of events I cover, follow me at Twitter.com/ANewsJPHerndon.

We at The Anderson News are committed to bringing you the best sports coverage we possibly can. That has been my mission whether I submitted hand-written stories in the 1970's, typed on the old Smith-Corona in the 80's and 90's or have been pecking things out on a keyboard or laptop for the last 12-15 years.

Those inevitable changes arrived and we became better with them. I believe the same will happen in 2013.


Comment at www.theandersonnews.com.