COLUMN: Thanks for making 2010 a tremendous year

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By Ben Carlson

Column as I see ’em …
Now that 2010 is in the books, a shout out goes to each and every one of our readers and advertisers for making the year an outstanding one.
It’s no secret that nationally, newspapering is a tough nut to crack these days. Large daily metro papers have really taken it on the chin, losing readers and advertisers at an alarming rate.
While our paper certainly isn’t immune to a bad economy, we have nevertheless been able to weather the storm the past few years has wrought and emerged a strong, vibrant business that showed consistent signs of growth throughout 2010, and finished the year well ahead of where we were in 2009.
Looking ahead to 2011, we don’t expect anything but continued growth, thanks to the strong support of our readers — that would be you — and our advertisers, who recognize that no other newspaper, website, TV station or radio station can deliver an audience that comes close to equaling what we deliver twice a week, every week, without fail.

Not that putting the paper together each week is always easy.
Last week is a classic example. About the time I arrived early Tuesday to get the paper ready for the press, my stomach literally flipped.
With pages to design, news to write and several folks on vacation, it was left largely to me to get it done.
The day went write a few paragraphs, run to the john. Place a couple of stories on page templates, run to the john. And so on.
Now go ahead, you wits out there, and e-mail your nasty comments about how reading what I write makes you want to run for the john, too.
I’m sure I can print those e-mails and save them for a future stomach-related event.

Speaking of the john, last Tuesday’s illness gave me a close-up view of the john, and I noticed the little label on the bowl says Gerber.
A company by the same name is wildly famous for making baby food (and hawking life insurance to grandparents of the kiddies eating that slop); another for making knives and some pretty cool survival-type outdoors gear such as a multi-tool.
Come to think of it, all three companies are actually making survival gear, of sorts.

Those of you who regularly read this portion of the paper by know now how thoroughly I enjoy letters to the editor, particularly those that criticize the job I do.
This week’s lead letter obviously has an undertow of discontent that likely dates back to previous articles I’ve written, but nevertheless gives me an opportunity to extend yet again an offer that requires more than anger to fulfill.
The article to which the writer refers was an account of what transpired at the most recent fiscal court meeting, and was clearly the most interesting portion of that meeting.
Had Judge-Executive John Wayne Conway not spent years heaping praise on Chip Chambers, the fact that he canned him wouldn’t have been particularly newsworthy.
He did praise him, though, and not keeping him on does beg the question as to why.
And when you couple that with the fact that both men ran for the same job, what you have is an interesting news item. That’s why it was on the front page.
As for being unfair and biased, I have asked in the past for examples of news articles I’ve written which bear witness to that charge, and to date have received nothing from those making the claim.
Not providing that proof, though, certainly doesn’t disqualify folks from writing in and making that claim. I’m happy to run those letters, usually in the top position, so please keep them coming, folks.