With another Digest page in, it’s getting a bit easier

It’s July, and we have printed six pages of the Suburban Digest in The Clarion-Ledger. And it looks good every week and the hope is it gets better. What I mean by better is, harder hitting stories from the ‘burbs that matter to taxpayers and watching what the people are doing. Knowing what city government does with taxpayer dollars, implementing programs and projects that affect their constituents, and informing people of interesting programs and individuals is what I’m aiming for.

Six communities have been given exposure through the main story at the top of the page, with my pretty photo and byline. And it seems like the stories, for the most part, are fluff. I’ll agree with people who say that. This is only the beginning of this new beat and the connections are increasing daily. The more people that know who I am and what I do, the more ideas that will flood my inbox. The same thing happened when I joined The Madison County Herald in October 2010. It took nearly a year for me to get settled in and a network established. Lucky for me, my network is still in place as I continue to cover Canton and Ridgeland, my former beats, for the page.

The page this week is versatile. The main story is about Madison, a community-oriented article about the progress and viability of Webster Animal Shelter. The briefs on six cities – Brandon, Byram, Clinton, Flowood, Pearl and Reservoir – have news, information on grand openings and outdoor events and it lets the public know what’s going on around the Metro. By calling numerous sources and being tapped into every blog, Facebook page and news outlet imaginable, the page will maintain a variety of useful tidbits. My new supervisor, assistant managing editor Debbie Skipper, is trying to get the hang of handling another reporter and editing the page. I’m helping her through this adjustment, and we will get the hang of things.

Already, the page has good feedback, it’s what the people want (as far as I know and have been told) and who knows where it could go? Nowhere but up, I hope.

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