Each day, at the bottom of our Opinion page, we publish a list of names of Susquehanna Valley people who are members of our Community Advisory Board.
This diverse group meets monthly with me, publisher Fred Scheller and managing editors Bill Bowman and David Hilliard, to discuss issues in the community. Members share a lot of great ideas and are greatly appreciated.
The meetings, which have been held virtually since last spring because of the pandemic, give us an opportunity to hear from people outside of our staff.
This group, which currently has five members, brings all kinds of good story ideas to the table — I guess it is a metaphorical table these days — as well as perspectives on issues that matter here — some of which we might not otherwise be aware.
Held the third Wednesday of each month from 5 to 6 p.m., these are without question my favorite meetings. I hope one day soon we can return to meeting in person.
We don’t agree on all topics. But it is a collegial, safe space for discussion. Every time I leave one of these meetings, I know I have learned something — usually many things.
I’m writing about this today for several reasons. First, it’s essential that we are transparent about how things work at your community newspaper. This is one part of that effort.
Second, we are open to bringing new members to this board. I wanted you to know that if you are interested, I’d be happy to have you reach out and discuss joining us.
We look for people, first and foremost, who are involved with and pay attention to what’s going on in the four counties we cover — Northumberland, Montour, Union and Snyder.
Full disclosure Part 1: Paying attention, in addition to other things, means reading The Daily Item regularly.
We also look for people who are willing to thoughtfully present their ideas to the group. Passion for ideas and diverse perspectives are welcome. Rudeness and impatience are not.
And, from a practical perspective, we look for people who will be committed to show up regularly.
The Community Advisory Board has been part of The Daily Item for most of the five years I have been here, We have no set time for adding or turning over members.
If you are interested in discussing being part of this process, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll set up a convenient time for a conversation and take it from there.
Just over five years ago, I came to The Daily Item after eight years at USA TODAY. One of the things I realized when I got back to working in community journalism, was that I’d missed getting to know and hearing ideas from people who cared about their community.
Full disclosure Part 2: I also realized I hadn’t missed the sometimes incredibly rude approach some people take when reaching out to us. (Don’t even get me started on what some post on our Facebook page.) If that’s your style, this isn’t the role for you.
But if you have some time, some good ideas and are as interested in listening as you are in speaking, shoot me an email and we’ll set up a time to talk.
Email comments to email@example.com.