From the Editor’s Desk — Building brick by brick

Published 3:20 pm Sunday, September 18, 2022

Growing up, I was a big fan of Legos. I loved building things, starting from the ground up and seeing how far I could go. Skyscrapers, castles, space shuttles and football stadiums, one by one I put them together, hearing but not necessarily listening to advice from family members when they would get too high.

The final products then went on display at my grandparents’ house until it was time for the next one. Now, things are a bit different. I’m the one putting up displays or offering advice to my nephew, who doesn’t listen any better than I did.

But my love of building things never went away. It just transitioned into hobbies like carpentry, which I learned from my grandfather, and building operations like The Herald. Now in this case, I’m definitely not starting from scratch. The foundation was laid here decades ago and has been added to over the years. What I’m working on now is putting the next bricks in place, so that we can keep growing.

Adding a few new bricks

Last week, I talked about the painful part, explaining that due to inflation, we had to go up in price. But I ran out of space before I could go over the stuff we’re adding.

Some of those things you’ve already seen. We’ve got a high school football notebook that will be showing up every week. I’ll be working on that, with help from some of our other staff members, providing notes on last week’s games and preparing you for those still to come. The reason we’re not doing game stories in the paper is because of time. Basically, by the time the paper comes out the next Wednesday, it’s more than five days since the game took place. That just seems dated to me. I’d rather put a spotlight on things that happened, stats and players from around the region.

We’re also ramping up our coverage of the schools and local government. We’ll keep you updated on what’s happening and when, so you can take part if you choose to. My goal here is to be a community resource, to answer questions that residents have. If you want to know when early voting starts, we can help with that. Curious about when broadband internet construction will begin in your area? We can answer that too. We’ll be updating you on what happens in local government meetings, get into the schools and yes, we’ll likely have a few more discussions to cover when it comes to the Kingsville roundabout.

A few more changes

There’s also going to be some exclusive pieces. By that I mean some of our material will only be in the print edition of the paper and others will only be available online. Why? Because some stories work better that way.

By that, I mean If we’re doing any type of breaking news, it’ll be online. That way you’re not getting dated material in print. The print version will be a followup, asking and answering any questions that came from the original story. For example, when the news broke Sunday night that Lunenburg schools were closed Monday, our sister paper The Dispatch had a story out that night online and provided updates the next day. The print story, meanwhile, focused on what happens next, getting responses from parents and looking at what changes because of decisions made this week.

There will be some changes to the staff here as well. We’re working to add more reporters. That includes another full-time staffer and some other new faces, freelancers that will be reporting from around the area. You’ve already seen stories by some of these folks, including James Robinson and Melisa Canizales. You’ll see more in the days and months ahead.

Asking for help

So that’s where we’re at with The Herald and its sister papers. I wanted to give an explanation, because I’m big on transparency. Like it or hate it, at least you’ll understand why a decision happened from my mindset.

Before I wrap up, I do have one more thing to mention. When it comes to content, I’m asking for your help. Let me know what kind of thing you’d like us to tackle. What type of stories do you want to see? Do you have some questions you’d like answered? If so, email me at Brian.Carlton@FarmvilleHerald.com or call at (434) 808-0622. I can’t promise I’ll answer immediately, but I will get back in touch.

BRIAN CARLTON is the editor for The Farmville Herald and Farmville Newsmedia, LLC. He can be reached at Brian.Carlton@FarmvilleHerald.com.