Sunday, January 18, 2009

Second Martin Luther King Celebration

Tonight is the second Martin Luther King Celebration...this one is in Independence at the Church of the Brethren at 6:30 this evening. Again, I will take cookies. I was chairman of the planning but turned the bulk of it over to the two black pastors since it was important to them to do the planning. I did get the speaker for them.

We have church at Crossroads this morning and our budget business meeting. Then this evening, we will attend the services at Independence and the reception afterward. We received the Independence Reporter first this morning. We take the Independence Reporter and the Coffeyville Journal. There on the front page of the Reporter was a nice sized picture of Dr. Tidwell, the speaker, and Dr. Paul Price, who served as master of ceremonies for the service yesterday. Under that picture, was a good sized story about the services.

Finally, an hour or two later, the Journal came and we looked for some kind of story about that service. There was not a word.

I wrote a letter to the editor of the Journal. I hope he prints it because I am sure those that made the effort to attend that very interesting service of celebration yesterday are just as disappointed as we were not to find a mention of it in our own newspaper.

Here is my letter:

Dear Editor,

Yesterday morning, Saturday the 17th of January, PINCH of Coffeyville sponsored a Martin Luther King Memorial Service at 10:00 at First Christian Church in Coffeyville. Refreshments followed the service and a good number of the people who attended stayed for the fellowship. We hoped to see a story about the service since we had as a guest speaker, Dr. James E. Tidwell, professor of English at Kansas University, who is a former resident of Independence, Kansas. Imagine my surprise when the Independence Reporter arrived first and there on the front page was a nice sized picture of Dr. Tidwell and Dr. Paul Price of Coffeyville, who acted as master of ceremonies for the service, and a very good story underneath it.

I was excited to see the Coffeyville Journal, my hometown newspaper, to read what they had to say about the service. I was appalled to find that not only was there no picture, but there was not a word about the service anywhere to be found either.

Want to know why subscription numbers are off? I can tell you. We can get the national news and, yes, even sports, from the internet but we cannot get our local news there. The only place we can find that is from our hometown newspaper. At least, one would think that would be the logical place to find local news.

When I was a young woman and worked at the Journal as a proof reader, I wrote "Little Locals" on Saturday evening from tidbits called in from the community. I believe it was one of the best read areas in the newspaper because it was "little locals".

You might try re-instituting that feature again.

It certainly wouldn't hurt the circulation and it might help keep avid readers like me happy.

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