From the editor: Hyperlocal news is priceless, help support your local paper
I’ve been asked to run a newspaper club at my child’s elementary school. As one does, I pondered it deeply over some wine, snacks and true crime sagas.
Do I have time? Do I have energy? Will monitoring a room of energetic first- through fifth-graders push my anxiety to new levels? (Did Dateline’s Keith Morrison seriously just ask that woman how her daughter’s death made her feel? Probably pretty horrible, Keith.)
I’m a single mom and a full-time journalist. Between those double-overtime activities, any free interludes I have involve hauling around town to volleyball practice, acting as a backseat bench coach in the stands at basketball games, being my child’s playmate, shuttling her to birthday parties and playdates, trying to keep this house in clean order, slinging teriyaki tofu like I’m on the Food Network, folding, washing, scrubbing, drying, sweeping, mopping …
Even that sentence made me tired.
So I have time to run an elementary school newspaper club, right?
Much to my lifelong girlfriends’ dismay of hoping to ever catch a glimpse of me during this fast-paced stage of life, I have agreed to launch the school’s inaugural newspaper club.
“I want to be a photographer,” said Norah.
“I’m really fast at typing so I can help the kids who aren’t,” said Autumn.
“I report weekly on my family’s duties on a whiteboard at home, so I can be a reporter,” said Viola.
“I want to write a fashion column,” said my kid, who learned how to dress from her wildly eccentric mom.
“Can I take pictures of the school garden’s sunflowers in bloom?” asked Maizie.
The group of kids gathered around me, talking over each other with untamed excitement. The chatter and buzz was overwhelming. The club was gaining more traction than the school’s famed Pokemon Club. (And that beast is huge.)
“Can we take a poll on what everybody’s favorite lunch is?” asked Sonia.
“Cheesy breadsticks!” Four kids said, in unison, followed by “jinx!” then erupting laughter.
“This is going to be so much more fun than YouTube,” my kid said, perhaps in the most life-affirming statement.
We launch on Monday. There’s no going back now.
But my heart is warm. As a nearly 19-year veteran journalist with Prairie Mountain Media (Broomfield Enterprise’s parent company), I get to teach kids about the importance of local journalism. About community reporting, ethical behavior, gathering quotes and information from various angles and seeking out diverse voices. I get to tell them about the endorphin-soaring excitement that can be caught from storytelling. I have a chance to open young, eager minds to learn about a trade I hold dear, one that defines my life.
I went to journalism school pre-internet boom (remember Dear Old Y2K?). When I entered into my chosen career in the early-aughts, I was so excited to tell people’s stories. The prose flew off my fingers like glitter. I treasure every story I’ve penned over the past two decades, I remember nearly every face and voice I’ve interviewed.
I’ve also taken pride in helping to shape fresh-faced reporters who bound in from college with all the energy of an elementary school kid. They sprint to scenes with wide eyes, notebooks and questions. Journalists’ ears are always on the ground. We chase stories for the community — for our readers.
Now is when I ask you for some help. The Broomfield Enterprise is a free newspaper, so we rely on our customers to help us stay above water. The cost of production and delivery increase annually, and lately seem to soar above record numbers each year that passes.
We’re your local news source and we need aid in keeping this paper strong. We are the only news outlet in the area that covers the communities that surround you, regularly. Help us to keep that going. You need a reliable source for news that impacts your community. Especially since Broomfield is the fastest-growing community in Colorado — it is deserving of fresh, hyperlocal community news to keep up with its growth.
As your new editor, I have some exciting ideas brewing in this crazy brain. (I’ll keep the extra-weird ones to myself.) I’m striving to add more arts and culture to the mix, along with some in-depth enterprise stories that dive into cultural and community issues.
And I want to hear from you. I want you to send me photos of your sunflowers. I want you to tell me what you’re watching on TV (besides true crime, I’ve got that covered). I want to know what your favorite lunch is. (Bonus points if you say cheesy breadsticks.)
Broomfield County may be Colorado’s youngest, but it sure is feisty. And it just keeps growing like those beautiful Colorado wildflowers, so let’s keep documenting it for the archives.
In the meantime, I’ll gain inspiration from my mini-newsies at school. I may never sleep again, but I love local journalism so much that I can sleep when I’m dead, in the wise words of rocker Warren Zevon.
News, though, never sleeps. So time to get back to work.
Please visit us online at BroomfieldEnterprise.com/donate to make a secure online payment. Payments may also be made by mail to Broomfield Enterprise, P.O. Box 19199, Boulder, Colo., 80308.
I look forward to getting to know you, Broomfield. Thanks for reading.