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Letter from The Editor: Seeking your insights

by on February 01, 2018 1:57 PM

One of the interesting things about working as a journalist is that once a story or a photo is published, once a publication hits the streets or is posted on the web, there is a sense of instant gratification.

Or not.

It doesn’t take long – once your work is out there for public consumption – for the feedback to start rolling in.

Professionally, there are few things more satisfying than hearing a reader say they enjoy your work. This is especially true if you’re told that a story has made a difference in the community.

Conversely, on the day a story that I’ve written is published, I always hold my breath a bit, hoping I don’t get a phone call or unhappy email from someone pointing out a horrible or embarrassing mistake. While journalists have a reputation for being hard-boiled and somewhat cynical, most that I know experience the same anxiety.

I spent most of my career working for daily newspapers. Because of the controversial or unpleasant nature of some of the stories we had the responsibility to cover, reaction was often pretty heated. You know a story about a controversial politician will bring a strong response. Sometimes, though, it’s the seemingly insignificant things that come back to bite you. One lesson I learned early on as an editor: don’t mess with the comics!

But as much as we may not always relish hearing it, constructive criticism is incredibly important in helping us better serve our readers and advertisers. There are valuable lessons to be learned.

For more than 50 years Town&Gown has focused on being a constructive voice in the community, highlighting the great people, businesses, and institutions that make Happy Valley a special place.

The comments we hear from readers and advertisers are overwhelmingly positive. It’s both humbling and gratifying. It also helps fuel our desire, our sense of responsibility, to uphold the high standards you expect from us.

We want to hear from more of you.

For the first time in several years, Town&Gown this month is launching a reader survey to help better shape our magazine going forward. You’ll find it on pages 54 and 55 of February's magazine, and online by clicking here.

Please take a few minutes to let us know what you think about Town&Gown, what you find most useful, what stories you want us to tell. And – perhaps even more important – please tell us how we can make the magazine better.

You’ll be doing us, and the community in which we all have a stake, a great service. Thank you!


Mark Brackenbury

Editorial Director

[email protected]


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