In November of 2011 I was asked to oversee a new project within The Gazette’s sports department — solicit and work with community journalists.
I don’t remember my initial reaction, but I’m sure I wasn’t jumping for joy.
“We are professional journalists,” I probably thought, “what is this ‘community’ stuff?”
After some thought, however, I gladly accepted this new challenge and began my search for citizen journalist.
What I found energized me.
So, on Dec. 18, 2011, we launched the “Your Page” in the Sunday Gazette — a page dedicated to community and high school journalism (another aspect of my job I’ve often written about) — with a feature on go-karting by Benjamin Happel.
Since that day, we have had features on just about every sport, every topic imaginable — running, golf, youth hockey, biking, rugby, sand volleyball, tennis and roller hockey. The list goes on and on and, of course, includes a little football, basketball, wrestling and other “mainstream” sports.
Today we mark a milestone — our 100th Your Page.
It’s an achievement I celebrate for many reasons, mainly to thank all those you have contributed, especially the “regulars” — Adam Rees, Erin Moeller, Rick Hollis, Daren Schumaker, Steve Charters, Jason Clark, Chad Cooper and newcomer Cody Scharf.
This page would not exist without you.
It also gives me a chance to reflect on some of the outstanding writers we’ve given a platform to and the “coverage” this page has provided sports and events that often get overlooked in most sports sections.
Lastly, this milestone gives me another opportunity to solicit more of your stories. We are getting into a new season of activities and will never have enough content for the newspaper and online. The concept is simple — everyone has a story to tell and most, believe it or not, can write a decent story about it.
I tell our high school journalists all the time there are no bad ideas, but some may need a bit of tweaking.
So what is your passion? Are you swimmer, a race car driver or team member, an adult baseball or softball player? Are you training for your first marathon or triathlon? Have you overcome an injury or illness and planning a big event? Do you have a friend, neighbor or relative you think would make a great story.
Share your story like so many already have.
What’s your story?
l Comments: (319) 368-8696; firstname.lastname@example.org