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The Sun editorial: Journalists are what we share

HAMBURG — Our readers have undoubtedly noticed several changes that have occurred in The Sun, during the past few weeks. Some have been small, like font changes, photo sizes and paragraph breaks. Others have been larger, such as new staff members, Associated Press style adoption and internal column-writing.

The world of journalism is ever-changing and, as a newspaper that has vowed to keep our readers up-to-speed on their communities, we must be – and are – willing to change, along with it.

We are always looking for ways to improve our product; sometimes, changes work well and sometimes they don’t. As with any other business, we must deal with trial and error.

I have opened up our column section to area officials, who will keep our readers in the loop about policies, changes and more.

In addition to our regular board coverage, this avenue will allow voters greater access to their local, elected officials and give those individuals public voices.

Our first guest columnist is Hamburg Town Supervisor Steven Walters, whose information about the Woodlawn Beach may be found on Page 5. I invite any other local officials who would like to be featured in this section of The Sun to email me directly at jowen@thesunnews.net.

We will also be featuring more columns written by The Sun staff. Our new staff reporter, Alicia Greco, who grew up in Syracuse, will graphically bring us along, as she explores the Southtowns, drinking in all that Western New York has to offer.

Our readers will remember Sports Editor Michael Petro’s ongoing “Open Mike” sports column, in which he engages readers about local sports.

This, the editorial page, is the only section of the paper in which I provide any insight into my personal feelings. In every other part of the newspaper, I only report about what will and has happened. We, as journalists, are not here to make the news.

The paper belongs to our reading public and all of us here at The Sun want to do more, to engage our readers.

We are expanding our online presence via Facebook, Twitter and website.

Check www.thesunnews.net for breaking news, updated sports scores, last night’s board stories and more.

Our Facebook posts will allow our followers to see an expanded amount of photos, read where we have been and find out what is happening right now, in the community.

Access to video cameras will now allow us to provide our followers with a more interactive experience. We also invite those who have liked our page to communicate with us through Facebook and join with us in updating that online community about events that are happening in your neighborhood.

We are also going to be communicating more through Twitter and retweeting posts that we believe will affect our readers. Twitter has become the avenue for breaking news and is one of the first places journalists now turn to, for up-to-the-minute information.

In the meantime, many things at The Sun will be staying the same. We will continue to cover local town, village and school boards, as well as attend area sporting events, festivals and other happenings.

We still welcome you to send us letters to the editor about things that matter to you and to your community.

Our news and sports correspondents are still pounding the pavement, covering local events, businesses and community news, every day of the week.

We are also here to update the public about engagements, weddings, new babies and special anniversaries, as well as keep our readers informed about friends and family members who have passed away and about crimes that have occurred in our readership area.

As journalists in your hometown, we consider it a duty and a privilege to be your source of information. I will personally strive to fill these pages with information that is true, honest and unbiased. Real journalism is objective and accurate.

The paper would not exist without you, its local readers. Please feel free to give me a call any time, send me an email, stop into my office or flag me down on the sidewalk.

I look forward to meeting many of you and working closely with you all.
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