Saturday, April 20, 2019

Engaged readers, makes happy editors

Last week when I walked into the DCI office I had some mail waiting for me on the counter that had just been delivered.

It’s not to uncommon for me to receive mail at the office like magazines, letters to the editor, or other things to that nature.

But when I saw an envelope addressed to me with a LA Dodgers logo on it I was very intrigued.

I opened up the envelope and found a letter from one of our valuable readers that said “Alex let’s hope the Red Sox don’t win it all.”

I had just written in my previous column about the Red Sox and its playoff run so the response from the reader who worked in the Dodgers made sense.

Sorry, though, the Red Sox did win it all!

After I received the letter, I got to thinking about how important being an engaged reader is and doing things like responding to columns.

By doing things like this, it shows our staff that our readers are paying close attention to what is being written about in our paper and is encouraging for us.

For me, another thing that is important when it comes to readers feedback is being able to find out what stories our readers have an invested interest in.

As an editor this helps me look for stories that I know readers may want to read and helps me keep on track of putting together the best paper I can each week for the community that we serve.

With that being said, I also got to thinking about how important it is for newspapers like ours to find innovative ways to engage readers and give readers an opportunity to engage with us.

With modern day journalism, there are a lot of tools at our disposal like using social media to engage with readers, using Facebook or Twitter to bring events live to people while there not in attendance or simply being able to see comments about stories good or bad instantly when they are posted.

Recently I began posting on our Facebook page about “special” story ideas we are looking for or story ideas in general.

I have to say I am very happy with the response that I have gotten by doing this and some absolutely amazing story ideas by doing this, some that you see transformed into feature stories in this week's paper.

I hope to continue doing this and readers if you ever have any story idea of any kind, please don’t hesitate to email me at

I guess what I am trying to say, ultimately is that if you have a problem with a story, let us know. If you like a story a lot, let us know. If you have an opinion about something, send us a letter to the editor.

As a editor of a small town paper, I also believe it’s my obligation to be available to converse with our readers and members of the community in the public, so if you see me at Erdmans or walking my dog down the street or anywhere for that matter, and you have something to talk to me about feel free to do so.

It’s something that I enjoy a lot!

In the near future you will begin to see even more innovative ways that we will implement to help with engagement of the most important piece of the newspaper puzzle.

Our readers.


See full story in this week’s print edition or subscribe online. Please subscribe here or current subscribers can login here.

Steele County Times & DCI

Steele County Times
411 E. Main St.
P.O. Box 247
Blooming Prairie, MN 55917

Dodge County Independent
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944

Dodge County Printing
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944


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