School is about to start, so even though we have a few warm weeks left, it’s time to think about a seasonal transition.
On Friday, we publish our annual football preview, the culmination of a few weeks of hard work by Jon Mitchell, kicking off (pun intended) several weeks of really hard work for him covering the prep season.
I don’t want to give away the cover, but Jon coaxed some players from the area into one of the most unusual football pictures I’ve ever seen for the section’s “Coming Attractions” theme.
The section is going to be well worth picking up.
That’s a look toward the fall. We also want to look back at the really great summer.
So today, the PI launches a video series on what we did this summer. By “we,” I mean “other people on the staff,” who took our GoPro camera along as they did quintessential Glenwood Springs warm-weather adventure stuff.
Here’s the lineup:
• Sports editor Mitchell went whitewater rafting on the Colorado.
• Swift Communications graphic designer Matt Moore mounted the camera on his mountain bike and rode the Wulfsohn Trails.
• Reporter John Stroud’s son Trevor and Trev’s friend Will Rose sacrificed a day of their summer vacation to get video from Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.
• John himself, a competitive trail runner, mounted the camera on his chest for a run.
• Publisher Michael Bennett went paragliding.
We posted a barely edited video from his flight a few weeks ago, but this one will be much slicker, thanks to Christopher Mullen, who shoots many of the local photos that appear in the paper. (In fact, you definitely should check out Chris’ story on the Garfield County Fair demolition derby here: http://bit.ly/1pRKSRV )
It’s fun, but it also shows the ability of digital journalism to provide content the paper can’t, and the series clearly shows what a great playground this is where we are lucky enough to live.
A Colorado native told me when I first moved to the valley that, “Your vacation is our lifestyle.” That stuck with me as I moved to Cincinnati for a couple of years and my wife and I worked on figuring out how to move back.
Of course my own Roaring Fork Valley lifestyle didn’t make the video series. If readers let me know that they need something to help them sleep, I’ll wear the GoPro as I run (much more slowly than Stroud) on the flattest ground I can find or ride the Rio Grande Trail to and from work.
A week ago, we ran an editorial urging Glenwood Springs and area residents to focus and pull together on making the most of the Grand Avenue Bridge replacement project. As an editorial should, it provoked some comment and criticism.
The PI hasn’t run many editorials lately, before and after I became editor in May. I’m new to town and have spent the summer meeting a range of people, reading and listening to get up to speed on issues.
I wouldn’t say that I now am an expert on Garfield County, regional and Colorado issues, but I have a good perspective and I know smart people who know the context and pitfalls of many issues.
So we will begin to write more editorials. They won’t be daily, but I’d like to slide into a routine of publishing one a week. They will be on local, regional and sometimes Colorado issues — as I’ve told folks, we probably won’t weigh in on the crisis in Gaza. Our proper role here is to stimulate and frame local discussions and decisions, to work to be a convener and to provide context.
And, look, some people will disagree with our positions. That comes with taking any position, and we will nonetheless work to find common ground.
One thing we will advocate periodically is openness in government, so I want to be transparent about our editorial process.
Publisher Bennett and I ultimately decide our position. I have convened a panel of editorial advisers who will meet with Mike and me monthly to discuss issues. It’s a group of people who reflect different interests and viewpoints in the region, from Rifle to Carbondale.
The membership will be somewhat dynamic, but I want to keep the group manageable at about six. If you are interested in filling any vacancies that come up, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll keep your name on file. My first requirement for membership is that advisers agree that civil discussion starts with this group.
And the discussion continues in our letters. We will publish as many as we can. Keep them civil, keep them true (you’re entitled to your opinions, but don’t offend people and don’t make stuff up) and try hard to keep them to 350 words or less so we can print more. I’m also eager to consider longer guest opinions.
Let’s have a great school year, on the football field and on the editorial page.
Randy Essex is editor of the Post Independent.