Sour Grapes and Saddle Sores
Signs of Transformations to a new system of public life October 19,2007
A local editorial writer wrote in the Peoria Journal Star awhile back, that candidates for public office ought to be talking about improving government. He wrote, "Government doesn't need to be reformed under the present system, it needs to be transformed under a new system." PJS Oct 11, 2007 I agree with that and would also say that transformation is already under way..
One transformation that I have a small share in, and is number one in the changes that I see,.is last week Richard St John , General Manager of The Stark County News, told us about the News receiving an honorable mention in awards given out by the Illinois Press Association among newspapers of the class of weekly papers. It was also given a First Place Award for its Web site. For me that is no surprise that the paper was given recognition for its efforts.
I have complained on numerous occasions about the way the media reports events of our land and for the rest of the world. There is a high usage of violence, sex and other ugly events, and these events are covered by all media and continued to the extreme. Such is not the case for the Stark County News. James Nowlan, Editor and Publisher is a long time friend. I worked as interim editor for him when he owned the Wyoming Post Herald. I know about his attitudes towards weekly newspaper reporting. I also know that he is quiet about his skills as a news man. He knows the value of informing a community about its life and knows how to keep reporting on a level that involves us all.
It is like Richard StJohn? wrote, we have the best weekly there is. The staff is good at putting out a paper that reports community life, and indeed, helps the community grow. I believe that this newspaper is number one as a transforming agency in a world that need transforming, The paper is not your usual weekly that reports who did what with who, but a paper that reports events that get other people involved.
It was interesting to see how The News went about finding people who were creative, and they were young people and old people. Several subscribers,who have talked to me find the paper interesting to them,even though they don't live in Stark County. I do not say this lightly, as I said I wrote for the Wyoming Post Herald and for a weekly in Tazewell County both of which did a good job doing what weeklies do. The Stark County News comes at that task from a different point of view.
Part of the reason for this change is that Stark County has changed. It is no longer occupied by four small communities, it is now a community. The News had a part in that change in that it reports activities from the whole county and also has columns by organizations that work in the whole county. The Stark County Economic Development Partnership, the Mental Health Council, The Farm Bureau and the Agriculture department all see the county whole, and enable those of us who are used to seeing the small bodies as important, to see the county whole.
This brings about a change in our attitude about our values, we see ourselves as an essential part in our nation. The contributions of the county to the economy of our land are spoken of with pride, and we see our industries as necessary parts of the whole. Because of the change in school systems, we also find a pride in the education of students to live in a new system of government. We are doing better in caring for people. Medical care, mental health care and good health practices are all present, because the groups who have moved into the county see practicing where we are as feasible, and productive.
Transformation of a nation takes place because local public life is transformed. People are seen as contributing members of a community and efforts in the community are seen as vital to national life. Stark County News reports on the life in the Community of Stark and emphasizes the value of those efforts. We see ourselves as a contributing community of the nation,and as such we find that our participation in is important.
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