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Grim's Tales: Have I ever said how much we need you?

We rely on the community to help fill our pages with news

Travis Grimler - Grim's Tales.jpg
Travis Grimler, PineandLakes Echo Journal Writer

I suddenly don't recall whether I've made it clear how much we depend on those around us to fill these pages.

I imagine sometimes news stories seem to come out of nowhere, especially for big news companies. The first inclination may be that reporters and writers found all the stuff you see in the news with little or no help from others, but that's so rarely the case.

We do get tips on our own by sitting at government meetings, attending events, watching for flyers advertising events and watching social media. The newspaper would still be light on info if it weren't for assistance from others.

Almost anything without a byline on it (that is, anything that doesn't list the name of the author) is probably a news release. Those come from countless sources - from club members, employees with local organizations or people from schools. Then there are paid correspondents and freelancers who help us fill the gaps with columns and events we simply cannot attend with such a small staff of three people.

Even the stories that our staff covers are often stories born of news tips from our readers and friends.

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Without help from coaches, we wouldn't know when athletic activities take place. Without church secretaries and city clerks, we would miss local events. Some of these people go beyond tips and actually write summaries of events and submit photos for us. This is true of school advisers and others who help us cover Knowledge Bowl, speech meets and mock trial events They are very busy people, and we could honestly use more people acting in these capacities.

I'm hoping there is someone knowledgeable and willing to learn how to serve in these capacities for other activities and events in our area. Sometimes I get cornered at local businesses and someone who is just a little bit annoyed will ask me, “Why won't your paper cover (a specific topic)?”

To which I reply, “That sounds really neat, but nobody told us about it.”

Someone involved in events like rodeo, BMX racing, fishing leagues, trap teams and other competitions would be a great addition to our list of contributors who volunteer time to submit photos and a paragraph or two following events in our area. We can't pay, and that is unfortunate, but that doesn't change the fact we could use help with a few events.

We can't be everywhere, and just speaking for myself here, I need to sleep some time.

That being said, I can't help but imagine there is someone out there who could summarize bowling league results at Pine River Community Bowl each week, or softball leagues during the summer, rodeo, robotics club, BMX, fishing leagues and maybe more. That person would have to be familiar enough with the activity to write competently on it, involved enough so they won't leave someone out, and willing to learn how to format their writing to fit in our newspaper.

That's a lot to ask, but when Clark and Amanda Amy owned the Pine River Journal there was a long span of time when almost all of the newspaper was absolutely saturated with the goings-on in people's personal dining rooms. “The Klines visited so and so," or “The Gardiners' son came home from such and such a place."

They had dozens of these entries for each of the surrounding townships, and they managed this every week without the internet.

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That being said, we'd love help keeping our readers informed on the events that matter to you, and in most cases we can't do that without some sort of help from you.

Remember, even in football we depend on the coaches to keep us up to date on scheduling.

Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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