You deserve more – and we at the Leader-News hope to offer you just that in the months to come.

Thirty Texas newspaper publishers gathered in Fort Worth last week to discuss exactly how each publication, including this one, could do more for their readership.

From contests to draw “engagements” to live streaming, more immediacy, compact stores that don’t diddle before getting to the point, more photos and, most importantly of all, finding better ways to listen to you – the reader.

It’s your news and your newspaper after all.

So, if you’d rather know more about social events in downtown than sewer line rehabilitation programs then it’s our job to make sure that’s what you get.

Would you rather read more or less about traditional beats like city council and school board actions?

How about crime?

Economy?

Agriculture?

County Commissioners?

What about Wharton County history? Bands playing in the area or puppies in the pound?

There’s two groups of people we’d like to reach: you the readers and they, the hopefully soon-to-be readers.

That comes via a formula that sounds simple – Listen to you – but actually involves the complicated maneuvering worthy of any game of battleship.

1. You have to tell us what you want.

2. We have to figure out how to get you to do just that.

3. Then there is the question of how to get those soon-to-be readers to chime in.

4. Finally, we need to develop a plan to make those wants workable.

The first question reporters try to answer with every news, sports or lifestyle story is simple – what does it mean to you (Joe or Jill Reader).

From there we cover the tried and true who, what, when, where, why and how.

On that frame, we flesh out the details of anything from a day in the office of Corrie Bowen, a county Ag Extension Agent, as ran last edition, to sales tax returns appearing in this one.

“If the press didn’t tell you, who would?,” is the motto of the Society of Professional Journalists, but you have to be interested enough to read it too.

So now’s your chance to give it some thought.

Jot down a few ideas and either email to publisher@leader-news.com or mail them to P.O. Box 1180, El Campo, TX 77437.

I look forward to hearing from you.

– Shannon Crabtree is editor & publisher of the El Campo Leader-News.

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