Opening The Observer

Opening up the Observer

I find myself on a lot of unofficial e-mail lists. Like the one that circulates around my neighborhood sharing information about break-ins and other crimes that arrive in occasional dispiriting spurts. Or the list of concerned parents weighing in on proposed changes in the way the middle schools are scheduled. Or the list of ideas for preserving 140 acres of green space that started soon after Oakwood Country Club went under.

Some of these lists are small—15 or 20 people. Others consist of a close circle of people who are likely to share similar viewpoints, because what’s more gratifying than a one-sided debate?
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Volume 3, Issue 6, Posted 11:35 PM, 05.24.2010

Opening up the Observer

The good news is the bad news: The Observer now receives many more contributions each month than the print edition can hold.

Until now, that situation has been handled by trying to prioritize the importance of each submission, which inevitably leads to the conclusion that they’re all important. And editors are instructed to cut large portions from dozens of stories to fit the available space.

Such cutting has been a necessary evil as contributions have continued to multiply, but it isn’t an acceptable long-term approach. It’s tough on the writers, who feel their hard work is being disrespected; it’s tough on the editors, because cutting stories by half or two-thirds is difficult and unpleasant. It’s also tough on the readers and the story subjects, because the nuance of the information can get lost.

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Volume 3, Issue 5, Posted 1:18 PM, 04.25.2010

An anniversary gift of research

This issue marks the second anniversary of the Heights Observer.

A few months ago, working with two marketing classes at John Carroll University, the Observer conducted a readership survey. Here are some highlights of what we learned from the 172 respondents.

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Volume 3, Issue 4, Posted 4:04 PM, 03.23.2010

In support of local businesses

One reason FutureHeights launched the Heights Observer was to encourage community dialogue and engagement among Heights residents—engagement with the local government, community and businesses. Another reason was to serve those businesses.

The local commercial base is a big part of what gives the Heights its unique character. By helping those businesses thrive, the thinking goes, FutureHeights helps maintain the community’s charm.

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Volume 3, Issue 3, Posted 11:53 AM, 02.21.2010

How to get your agenda covered

For those who have been most involved in producing the Heights Observer, one frustration arises every month: Readers have a lot of great suggestions for topics we should cover, and we want to pursue them.

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Volume 3, Issue 1, Posted 12:11 PM, 02.21.2010