Meet the press

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By CLINT SCHROEDER Regional Publisher

Your newspaper appears on your driveway like clockwork each morning.

Or, if you like, the latest version appears whenever you want, on our app.

Most people don’t give much thought as to how the news gets to them. It takes a lot of work by a dedicated team of people. Even on the best days, it’s a difficult job, gathering the day’s news, one with a lot of moving parts: The jobs most of us think about when we consider the local paper only cover about half the people who bring you your paper. The rest are behind the scenes.

We couldn’t put your newspaper out without them. They, along with the team in the newsroom, the pressroom and the advertising department, all contribute to the product out of a deep commitment to our community.

As part of our “Meet The Press” series, I’d like to introduce you to two of the journalists who help create your local paper. Loren Benoit is our staff photographer. Today we’re publishing a series of his photos from the recent North Idaho State Fair. Loren, 27, has been with The Press for three years. He came to us after earning a degree in journalism from the University of Montana. He grew up in Wenatchee, Wash. We send him all over our readership area to capture images that tell our neighbors’ stories.

“The fair is one of my favorite summer highlights,” Loren said. “It’s great documenting families having fun together, kids connecting with their 4H animals, and photographing peak action at the rodeo. Some of my best images come from the fair.”

You can see some of his outstanding work inside this section. See the photos he brings back to the newsroom is one of the joys of being publisher.

As Loren created a visual record of the five-day event, staff reporter Devin Weeks brought you a series of stories about what she saw as she traversed the midway, from fantastic performance artists to a pet rat named Bill. Devin started with The Press in 2013. She covers education and community news, and the people who meet her know that she loves to tell stories.

“As much as I hate to say goodbye to summer,” Weeks said, “I love those last dusty weeks of August when the North Idaho State Fair takes over the fairgrounds. As a wee one, I remember holding a balloon and looking down into the crowds while riding on my dad’s shoulders, and, hours later, sleepily wrapping my arms around my mom as I fell asleep on the way to the car. As a teen, it was the last hurrah of summer where my friends and I would stay as late as possible, enjoying our last taste of freedom before school started. From an adult’s perspective, I love the variety of what our fair has to offer and how family focused it is. It’s still one of my favorite summer events, and as a reporter, I’ve had the pleasure of writing about everything from how 4-H kids bond with their animals to what chocolate-covered crickets taste like. It gets better every year.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be hosting the first meeting of our Publishers Advisory Councils. One’s for students, the other is open to anyone in our community willing to donate an hour or so each month to shape our news product. Part of that process means us hearing from you.

But another part, I think, is getting to know us. Of the community making a connecting to the media that covers them. This is the first installment. I’ll check in with you every so often to introduce you to some of the other people who put their all into bringing you the news.

A newspaper should be a vibrant cornerstone of civic life. We’re here to keep you up to date on what’s happening in your town. To be sure, that’s our only agenda with our news content.

Sometimes that means serious issues, such as the news we bring you from the courthouse or the police station.

Occasionally some news sparks controversy. We do our best to present the facts. Truth still matters. That’s a community value we’re honor-bound to uphold.

Sometimes the news is light-hearted: A couple of weeks ago we ran a photo of a seagull eating a piece of pizza for no other reason than whimsy. Not everyone subscribes for the city council minutes. Some like recipes, horoscopes and crossword puzzles. A paper ought to appeal to its readership’s interests.

Other times the news is just plain good, like when the community rallied around a young boy whose tackle box was stolen or when a series of generous folks made it possible for a 7-year-old to buy a medical-alert dog to help with his diabetes. News like that is a delight, as the work today by Loren and Devin clearly shows. I’d like to thank them for their hard work and creativity.

Whatever the day brings us, we’ll bring to you. That’s why we’re here.

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