Resolve to write a story for the Observer in 2013
As we start our sixth year of publishing the Heights Observer (the first issue published on April 10, 2008), I’m amazed at how much this little paper—a community-building project of FutureHeights—has grown. I see people picking it up at a local restaurant or bank. I see people reading it. Some even tell me that it is the only publication they read.
Why? I ask. The news isn’t particularly timely. It comes out only once a month. But, somehow, it encapsulates more of what our community truly is than any other news source.
I think that its authenticity, the fact that it truly is of the community and for the community, is what makes it a good read. Everyday people—few journalists among them—write stories and cover community news for us each month. This month, I am happy to report that we have several first-time writers: check out the article by Cain Park neighborhood resident Harvey Zvi Ofer on page 6; the parenting article by Charniece Holmes on page 9; and the article about the Communion of Saints robotics team by Amy Fischer on page 10. And we’re thrilled to have the Observer join the group of illustrious publications that Jim Henke has written for, with his page one profile of a local musician.
The Heights Observer is your newspaper, and we welcome your contributions. In fact, we depend on them, whether you choose to write a news article about the impact of new legislation on our community, a feature story about a fascinating person who lives here, or an opinion about a city council decision.
When we step back and analyze what is printed in each issue of the Observer, we often see gaps. We wish our small staff (a part-time editor and a part-time publisher—my other full-time job is running the nonprofit FutureHeights) could cover more community issues and events, but we are already stretched too thin. On our 2013 wish list is more coverage of the following:
- Analysis and news reporting of city programs and the decisions of our city councils, school and library boards;
- Programs offered by our religious congregations;
- Sports—everything from high school football to recreational basketball leagues;
- Community groups—from neighborhood organizations to block parties, scout troops and book discussion groups;
- Private-school events and activities;
- Activities of various school clubs and parent groups;
- The many interesting people who live in our community.
More photos and stories on these topics, and others, would make the Observer that much more fun to read, and that much more reflective of our community.
So won’t you join us? Become a part of the change that you want to see. Write a story for the Observer. If you would like to discuss an idea first, give me a call at 216-320-1423, or contact our editor, Kim Sergio Inglis at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or just submit your story to the Member Center: go to www.heightsobserver.org, select Become an Observer from the left-hand column, create an account, select Submit New Story, copy and paste the text of your story, and hit Submit.
Don’t worry that your story is not good enough. Review our guidelines published online, of course, but don’t worry that your story is not perfect. Although we still don’t consider ourselves professionals, we’ve been doing this for a few years now, and we can polish up your story and help you sound great!
Deanna Bremer Fisher
Deanna Bremer Fisher is executive director of FutureHeights and publisher of the Heights Observer.