One of the most important roles we have as a community newspaper is to help readers share information and ideas with each other. Traditionally, the place in print for such an exchange has been the Opinion section, which is of course quite active with reader engagement at The Press (if you are reading this, I’m talking about you).
But as technology improved, and newspapers stopped thinking of their roles so narrowly, daily papers developed more ways for readers to react and interact with staff and each other.
Now there are comments sections on stories and Facebook where people regularly post their thoughts and respond to one another. But we’ve also tried to provide many other ways readers can share their ideas, including:
An Eagles React feature in the Sports section where readers share their reactions to the latest Eagles games.
Live chats on Facebook with Press journalists, such as Eagles reporter Dave Weinburg, where readers can post questions and get answers in real time.
Our Public Eye column, which publishes the first Monday of each month, investigates neighborhood complaints, asks public officials what they are doing to fix the problem and reports the findings. If something is broken or neglected in your neighborhood, tip off Public Eye in an email with a description to email@example.com with “Public Eye” in the subject line. Letters may be sent to Public Eye, The Press of Atlantic City, 1000 W. Washington Ave., Pleasantville, NJ 08232.
In our newly launched history page, we ask readers to share their photos and videos from the past, to supplement the archival information we already have there. To see our history page, go to www.pressofatlanticcity.com/history. Better yet, upload some memories of your own.
Here’s one for the kids (and teachers): our annual Halloween contest invites students in kindergarten through high school to finish our scary story and submit it, along with artwork, for consideration. Winners receive a prize and have their work published in print and online, along with a video of them reading their stories aloud.
In the two years we’ve run the contest so far, we have received several thousand entries from students all over our region. Watch for this year’s contest to kick off at the end of September with winning entries published Oct. 29.
If there are specific reporters you’d like to speak with, their contact information is at the bottom of each of their stories in print and online. They would be happy to hear tips, questions, story ideas or opinions about the area from you.
Of course, there are many ways in which you can tell us what’s on your mind on the Opinion pages:
In a letter to Voice of the People, which will appear in The Press of Atlantic City in print and online;
In a guest column;
In an online story comment, which might be chosen for publication later in print as well.
These are just some of the ways in which we encourage readers to interact with us and with each other. We invite you to use them and to suggest others that you might like to see.
This newspaper has an obligation to the community it serves — and that means you. The more we talk together, the better this news operation will be.
Kris Worrell is executive editor and vice president, news.
609-272-7277 KWorrell@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPressWorrell