Some people believe all journalists care about is controversy and bad news.
I can tell you that we are pleased with the opportunity to expand our community news effort by re-energizing two weeklies and adding two more.
We’re introducing a new zone weekly to the Central/Eastern York County this week and another one in the the West York/Dover area in March. All four will be called Weekly Record and will cover different areas of the county.
To give a glimpse of staff enthusiasm, here is Weekly Record editor Joan Concilio’s comment after editing my Sunday column on new zones:
“Good example you picked, too. I can think of several that would have worked, but hers really stands out.”
The column appearing in the York Sunday News on Jan. 15 follows:
It was the type of story made for a newspaper.
Rhonda Lloyd from Fawn Grove wanted to share a tale about how she reunited with a long-lost friend from high school, some 40 years ago.
The friend, Ursula Spooner, now residing in Vienna, Austria, visited her mother in Fawn Grove over the holidays.
Rhonda caught up with her during that visit.
“We must have talked for five hours straight without coming up for air … talked about silly things we did and all the fun we had when we were in high school,” she said.
Our Weekly Record editor, Joan Concilio, secured a photograph from Ms. Lloyd and ran it with an extended caption in the next Southern York County Edition.
We know that’s the type of hometown news that you like to read, and we’re making room to run more of it.
Since September, we expanded the Weekly Record in Southern York County and enlarged our weekly in the Dallastown-Red Lion area.
This week, we’ll start publishing another weekly edition in the areas covered by the Central, Eastern and Northeastern school districts.
In March, we’ll put out a weekly newspaper covering the West York and Dover school district areas. The weeklies will be inserted in the York Daily Record and York Dispatch delivered to homes in those areas.
Readers also will be able to pick up a copy at various locations in those areas.
This additional investment comes at a time when newspapers nationally are losing circulation.
That’s not true with the York Daily Record/Sunday News, and we’re investing heavily in intensely local news to keep it that way.
We’ve also added other content to the Daily Record/Sunday News. The puzzle Sudoku has been popular, and on Sundays we’ve added the more challenging Kakuro puzzle. We’ve even added workspace to allow Kakuro figuring.
On Saturdays, we’ve added the Gallery page so our photographers can tell visual stories from the community. For example, Bil Bowden provided interesting images of local folks at the Farm Show on Saturday. The previous week, Jason Plotkin profiled York Suburban’s cheerleaders on their Orange Bowl trip.
In early February, we’ll publish an expanded health publication called You. The quarterly publication will also be available in the waiting rooms of area doctors’ offices.
Unfortunately, readers won’t find Dave Barry’s column in our Sunday lifestyle section. Barry has retired from newspaper column writing. If he decides to come out of retirement, we’ll again pick up his weekly piece.
Our four tabloid-sized Weekly Record publications will free up space in the Daily Record/Sunday News for even more news, particularly from York and surrounding communities.
We’re excited about the possibilities this additional zoning, as our industry calls it, will bring.
We know our readers enjoy reading about Rhonda’s and Ursula’s meeting and other people-focused stories.
How did their meeting end?
The two women exchanged gifts and promised to keep in touch. Ursula invited Rhonda to visit her in Vienna.
“It was so wonderful to see each other again,” Rhonda said. “How great is that?”
We think our readers would answer, “Wonderful!”