In today’s Daily Scoop space, I’m taking a timeout from sharing a Philomath-related news item and sharing my thoughts on how the Philomath News is doing three weeks into this venture while mentioning a clarification.
First, we’re off to a promising start. As you can see on our “Wall of Support,” a number of folks have graciously contributed to try to help this effort to establish a truly local news source. Those contributions represent about 25% of the goal and we’ll continue to work toward the magic word, “sustainability.”
Even if the voluntary memberships come up short of the goal, we may be able to make it up in advertising. With the level of attention and number of hours needed to make sure I’m covering news and that the website is working as intended, I haven’t spent as much time on the advertising end. That’s something that will be worked into my schedule on a more regular basis in the coming weeks.
Now, the clarification. I’ve received several comments in recent days from people who are wondering if the Philomath Express has been re-established as a publication in some way. Shortly after the Philomath News launched, Mid-Valley Newspapers (Albany Democrat-Herald, Corvallis Gazette-Times and Lebanon Express) started posting to the Philomath Express Facebook page for the first time in several weeks — I believe since that company closed down the publication in September.
During the 5-1/2 years that I was editor of the Philomath Express, I had built a Facebook following of more than 2,000 readers. Even though I established the page, it belongs to the company and I no longer have control of it. But the staff there probably sees value in it for pushing content because of the high number of followers and page likes. So just to make sure you know — that’s not me on there and if you have questions about it, you’ll need to contact that company’s Albany office.
To close, I just want to ask my readers to please be civil and respectful when commenting on stories or Facebook posts. If this policy costs me readers or supporters, so be it, but I’m not one who allows profanity or disrespectful comments toward anybody, whether it’s an individual, business, organization, whatever. We already have enough of that in this world we live in.
I removed a comment from our Facebook page on Monday and wrote a personal message to the author to explain why I was taking the action. I just really believe that if you want to criticize or share thoughts on a particular issue, there are civil ways to get your point across. I wouldn’t identify this as a huge issue among our readership, but it does come up from time to time, especially if a particular social media post strikes a nerve.
Thanks everybody and I hope you all have a nice Christmas and a safe New Year.
(Daily Scoop is a blog published by the Philomath News. This blog often contains news items but also could include opinions of Brad Fuqua, publisher/editor).