|April 19, 2010||Some things in life are free||no comments|
|April 16, 2010||Good News||no comments|
|April 12, 2010||The Battle Against Cancer||no comments|
|April 07, 2010||Care in reporting||no comments|
|April 05, 2010||The Team, part 2||1 comments|
|April 02, 2010||Good Friday||no comments|
|March 29, 2010||Parkour Anyone?||no comments|
|March 26, 2010||A Myriad Of Notes||no comments|
|March 24, 2010||A Winning Team||2 comments|
|March 22, 2010||February||no comments|
It is true that some things in life are free.
Think about this. These days, when you are looking for a business, where do you turn? Google.
As a result, about a year ago, we developed the online business directory, right here at www.maconcountytimes.com.
There are some great things about this. First and foremost, your business' basic listing is FREE. This free listing includes your business name, address, phone number, hours of operation and a Google map to your location.
Claiming your business is simple.
Click on "business" tab at the top of our web site. This takes you to the main page for the business directory. Then, on the right hand side, click on "claim your business" and follow the instructions from there.
You may be prompted to register for the web site (or sign in if you've already registered). It's simple and takes only a moment.
If you cannot find your business, then click on "list your business" to obtain your free business directory listing.
There are ways to enhance your business directory listing for as little as $30/month. This will allow you to add a number of features, ranging from photos to videos to profiles and more - depending on the upgrade package. These packages also are proven to propel your business to the top of Google search results by piggy-backing on the Macon County Times highly credible content.
Regardless of the enhanced packages, your free basic listing gives potential customers a lot of information, and gives you a presence on Macon County's top web site. Not a bad deal for the price - free.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware has approved Heartland Publications' pre-negotiated Chapter 11 Bankruptcy plan today (Friday). No creditors voted against the plan. It is expected to go into effect around April 30, at which time the company will officially emerge from bankruptcy.
Heartland is the owner of the Macon County Times.
This is of course great news, but really it doesn't change much on our end.
The Macon County Times keeps working hard for you. We continue to grow and will continue to serve you with quality journalism, excellence and honor.
It is an important cause.
At our web site, http://www.maconcountytimes.com/, top right hand corner, is a video with a very important message from the Relay for Life folks.
This is an important cause and I hope you'll watch the video and support their local efforts to combat cancer.
Service is the cornerstone of what a good community newspaper does, and we're going to keep this video up for a while in the most prominent spot on Macon County's most viewed web site to make sure plenty of folks get the opportunity to see it.
I had a chat this week with a colleague I used to work with in Texas. We were discussing the differences in online reporting and print reporting, and I insisted that while they are two different products - and that requires different handling - some things never change.
The Internet has been a wonderful world to explore for newspapers - or at least for those who can embrace what the Internet brings to the table instead of blaming their woes on it.
For the Macon County Times, the web has produced for us a wide range of new readers and many new distribution methods that were unimaginable just a few years ago. Likewise, we've been given many new and exciting ways to interact with readers, and that is excellent.
Your Macon County Times is no longer a weekly newspaper. We are a multi-media news organization that works around the clock. We provide you news and information in print and online, in photograph and in video.
But at the same time, it is important some things don't change. The web has opened up a world of weirdness that is sometimes difficult to understand, and it is infused with opinions that are thinly veiled as "reporting," and much of the reporting is based on vague sources.
Now, we're not perfect by a long shot. I can admit that, but generally speaking, this is what we try to adhere to in our reporting:
This is not every policy we try to follow and there are other points in there to be sure, but these three go a long ways toward creating more credible content and reducing issues related to libel.
Verification for ourselves is a big part of being a journalist, and these three little tips help avoid 99 percent of nasty problems that may arise. And yes, it may delay the reporting of a story just a little while but you can be assured that when it appears in the Macon County Times, in print or online, great pains have been taken to ensure our reporters are giving you accurate information that fully attributed.
The web changes a lot of things, but the efforts to verify and attribute information should not be one of the things that change, for that is what makes the difference between journalism and the garbage that infuses the web.
Several days ago, I wrote about the team here at the Macon County Times...to date my most-read newspaper blog.
There is a part of the time I left out of that posting, but is no less important than anyone else working here at your Macon County Times.
In casual conversation they are called stringers. On my budget they are called correspondents. Regardless, they are a group of people that do two important tasks:
Both points are vital to having a vibrant and growing newspaper. You need a lot of content and your full-time staff needs to have opportunities to rest and re-energize.
We have several active correspondents at the moment. Perhaps the most popular is Juanita White. Her weekly Golden Oaks News is highly, highly read in print and online, and I know many people, including my mother, look forward to her recipes each week. She's one of a kind and we're proud to have her on our team.
There are others too. Spencer Wix is a former reporter here who now writes for us occasionally. She has the skill and experience of a reporter and is one of the more talented writers in the county. She does a great job for us everytime we call upon her.
Lately Angel Gammons has been a photographer extreme! She is fun, she is enthusiastic and absolutely a darned fine photographer. We're grateful she's a representative of our news organization as she's brought a lot to the table.
Bethanye Jones is also an important member of our team. A high schooler, she is at many games and willingly writes about and photographs them. She's been helping us a very long time and you won't run across a much more talented, helpful or responsible young woman.
There are others who help us from time to time as the demands of work, family and real life allow. Photographer Steve Morris and writer Meagan Hutcherson are two who give of their talents and abilities as their time allows - and we're grateful every time they help us.
The point is these are all actual members of our team. They are not volunteers - the are paid for the important work they do. And they provide an important service to this newspaper.
If you are interested in working as a correspondent at the Macon County Times, call Managing Editor Brad Gaskins at 666-2440, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Normally I reserve this blog to discuss things pertaining to the newspaper but I hope you'll permit me a slight detour today.
Easter is a great holiday and there are many nice things about it. Some folks get Good Friday off of work and school. Family dinners are prepared, and who can forget the great Easter candy - I love peeps!
But there is something more ... Just as with Christmas, I don't want the true, deeper meaning of Good Friday and Easter to slip away.
I think a reminder is as simple as a verse most of us learned as little children in Sunday School.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
I hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend.
Have you ever heard of Parkour? It is a French sport that is actually played right here in Macon County. On March 4, Reporter Diedre Wilson wrote about the story, which was illustrated by Photographer Steve Morris. A fascinating story about a foreign sport/activity played right here in our parks.
Wilson also wrote a touching story - one that generated tremendous response - on the 68th anniversary of Earl and Myrtle Ford.
There was more in March. We reported on many things, including, but not limited to:
My recently completed evaluation of March's print editions (our next edition is April 1) reveal some stats. In March, we published:
There's more of course. We provided you with tons of local advertising, including 30 inserts or circulars from great local businesses like Hometown Foods, DT McCall's & Sons, Gross Appliance, and Gene Carman Real Estate and Auctions as well as companies like Walmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid and Freds, among others. Included among this was over $600 in coupons that not only save you money, but help you help local businesses.
We also gave you four issues of the very popular magazine American Profile.
As I mentioned when talking about February, you get all this and more for only $2 - the cost of four issues. The cost is even less with your $20 subscription.
Not a bad value. Not a bad value at all!
We published far more on our website, www.maconcountytimes.com, and we'll provide some statistics on that when March is complete.
1) Garage Sales.
Garage sale season is upon us and I wanted to remind you that when you advertise your garage sale in the Macon County Times, you get three major benefits:
Just call us at 666-2440 or come by our offices at 200 Times Avenue, and we'll help you out.
2. Coupons baby.
Next week, we will have coupons which can save you over $300! In these hard economic times, the Macon County Times saves you considerable money, and enables you to support your local, hometown businesses! And this savings doesn't even include the great deals that will be offered by Hometown Foods, Walgreens and Rite Aid.
3. Them's the breaks!
When you just can't wait until Thursday, check out www.maconcountytimes.com. This site provides you with more news and information, including breaking news, than any other news web site serving Macon County, and in the vast majority of cases, we report it first. It's a great site with lots of features. I encourage you to take some time and poke around.
4. Green, green, green (and we're not talking about Hope).
Recently, we had a required environmental impact inspection and passed with no problems. We use a number of inks and chemicals (developer and fixer) with our printing operations. I am proud to report that all developer and related chemicals are 100% biodegradable - and have been for quite some time - and what isn't biodegradable is 100% reclaimed and disposed of properly through an outside vendor. Furthermore, we have extensive recycling programs for waste newsprint (we print on 100% recycled paper), plastic, film (from printing) and other recyclable materials. We just try to do our part...
5. New features.
I'm really chomping at the bits to tell you about some major enhancements upcoming at your Macon County Times. Some really neat changes are occuring online and in print ... changes I believe you will enjoy very much. More to come on this, but for now I have to keep my lips zipped...and I'm the worst at keeping secrets!
Leigh Dallas knows why I am writing this.
Leigh Dallas has been a member of the Macon County Times staff for around seven years. Her official title is business manager and in that role she is second to none. Over the years, as publisher, I've worked with eight business managers, and as an editor and managing editor in a department head capacity, I've served alongside probably twice that many more.
Leigh is in the top 2 of all business managers I've worked with in any capacity. She has several traits which are important:
But that describes all the business managers I've worked with. What sets her apart is the same thing that makes the other business manager in the top 2:
Someone this week made a false statement about our paper and when they were proven wrong, rather than correcting the information, they ran another smear. Unfortunately, this involved Leigh's participation in this week's edition.
She was upset and her husband was angry and rightfully so. And Managing Editor Brad Gaskins, who worked with her on the story in question, did not reveal any level of frustration - he's about the toughest person I've ever met - I'm sure it had to be there.
Although I did not make the remarks at all, I offer my apology to them, an apology that their teamwork was viewed with such undeserved scorn and contempt for doing the simple task of reporting a story.
Teamwork is the key. The Macon County Times is successful because we work as a tight, close team. Our growth, our stability, our profits, the stories, the superior print and online readership, the many products and services we provide, are all thanks to a team of people who dedicate many hours each week to one simple idea, and that is devoting our efforts and energies to serving Macon County.
This is a team of highly talented people who can perform multiple tasks at the drop of a hat. We all can sell ads and we all can write stories. We can all take photos. We can all lay out pages. Each and every member of our team is capable of performing a multitude of tasks with a high degree of competence.
This gives us the greatest level of resources and flexibility in Macon County media and the simple fact is I would not trade a single member of our team for a single person working at any other media in Macon County.
To the Macon County Times team, I say thank you for your tenacity, your hard work and your dedication. There is only one reason we are the most successful media organization in Macon County and that reason is you - the staff members and stringers of The Macon County Times!
Each month, I spend a lot of time in evaluating our various products. I study the paper, the web site, the commerical printing information, the revenue, expenses, stats, sales, circulation...all sorts of things.
Here are a few facts from February that I thought some readers might find interesting:
Here are just a few other little tidbits related to February.
But there is more. In February:
I don't think that's bad for a 28-day month!
Just imagine, the month of February would have cost you $2 if you picked up all four copies on the news stands, and less with a subscription. Not bad at all, eh. Given all that, I think The Macon County Times can lay claim to the title "best deal in town."