Don Rogers: Vail Daily too negative, too positive?
Last week, a small-business owner came to visit me.
He was concerned that the paper was being too negative in its coverage. Times are tough, yes, he said, but you guys seem to be piling on.
A couple of days earlier, I received a call from another person in the business community.
Our crime in this case was being too positive. You made it sound like Presidents Day Weekend was a lot better than it really was, she said.
We’d focused on businesses that did well over others that hadn’t done as well. Calling the weekend a “bright” spot was going too far, in this line of criticism.
We were being overly positive, pollyannaish, when her impressions were quite different.
Oh, my. We’re perceived as too negative AND too positive.
What do you think?
Are we too negative or too positive?
Of course, that’s pret ty normal feedback.
You make up quite a wide and diverse com munity, after all.
Under all this was the message that the business community really believes what the paper says matters. Hmmm. There might be a marketing oppor tunity here for these businesses. If what people see in the paper makes a huge difference …
OK, that was the associate publisher thinking aloud.
As editor, I want my coffee black and my news straight. Don’t add sugar, and don’t sour things things, either. Just tell it straight.
That’s our mission at the Daily. We have a rich store of achievements, successes, people help ing others ” a ton of fun to report on. An entire section of the paper, High Life, is devoted only to good stuff. Sports focuses on the kids, the out doors and the rec league accomplishments. Town Talk is a section of smiling people. Local news almost always tells more happy stories than the other kind.
That’s simply the joy of our community, how ever much we fuss over $36,000 for this county logo or that. Even that ” issue” has been a wel come diversion, I think, from the weight we place on local government to help guide the community through.
But we can’t really cast the stock market hit ting a 12-year low as “Dow at 10,000 any day now!” or “Recession about to end!” when that simply is not honest. Equally irresponsible would be declaring ” The End Times have arrived!” or “It only gets worse from here!”
Let’s just be honest. After skyrocketing for the past five or six years after the last recession in which “nothing would ever be the same,” we’re enduring another correction. You and I cannot say when, but this, too, shall pass.
These cycles are mistaken for “normal” on the upside and mistaken as “new realities” on the down. The mountains have boomed and bust ed from the miner days and many times in our modern snow-farming era.
Through it all, we simply need good, accurate, relevant information.
And yes, the inspiring stories are every bit as important as the ones informing us that our local economy is down, though not as deeply as most of our resort-town cousins.
Thankfully, this is a community rich in inspi ration. And that’s just telling it straight.
Don Rogers is the editor and associate publisher of the Vail Daily. He can be reached at 970-748 2920 or email@example.com.