Readers miss our neighborhood correspondents.
This is one insight from recent meetings with readers.
Years ago, The Lincoln County News had numerous area correspondents — volunteer scribes who would submit a brief column each week full of goings-on in their town or village, or on their island.
This number has shrunk over time to almost none, often because a correspondent dies or falls ill and no one replaces them.
Round Pond columnist Lori Crook is the only neighborhood correspondent who still writes every week. A couple of others write from time to time.
We value Lori’s column tremendously. She reports news that matters to residents of Round Pond, news we might not report otherwise. Recent scoops by Lori include improvements to the village’s waterfront facilities, the celebration of a resident’s 90th birthday with a heartwarming drive-thru birthday party, and a dramatic lightning strike at Round Pond Green.
Four years ago, we wrote in this space about the loss of another neighborhood column and noted that, from 18 neighborhood columns 25 years earlier, we had declined to five. Three of the columns mentioned in that editorial as survivors are no more — the Alna, Somerville, and Westport Island columns.
Before our recent focus groups, we had resigned ourselves to the fact that the neighborhood column was just another part of the past that was disappearing and not going to come back.
But readers sent a clear message that they value these columns and want to see them make a comeback.
So here is our invitation to you. Do you live in Lincoln County, just about anywhere besides Round Pond? Do you have an hour or two you can commit each week to jot down local happenings, a smartphone to snap a photo? Do you like to know what’s going on in your neighborhood? Do you want to make sure your neighbors know too? We would welcome your contributions. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 563-3171 and ask for the editor.