By Mike Whittlesey
Where People Count Most: The Origin of News
Over the years, The Progress Review has granted tours to area cub scout and girls scout troops interested in learning more about their local newspaper. Because most of the scouts that pay us a visit are quite young, typically students in the first and second grade, the presentation usually focuses on basic concepts to help them better understand the tools we use to produce a newspaper each week.
The most frequently asked question posed by the youngsters on these tours is a relatively simple one: Where do we get the news that is published each week in The Progress Review? While the question affords us the opportunity to talk at length about the newsgathering tools at our disposal- the telephone, computer, fax machine, e-mail, and so on- the simple answer is that most of the news we report originates from somewhere outside our office at 213 Main Street. In other words, the most important source of the news we publish is you, dear reader.
In 2005, while conducting research for the book we published about La Porte City’s first 150 years, we discovered there was a period of time when The Progress Review used a tagline of four simple words, printed on the front page for all to read: Where People Count Most. We liked the phrase so much, we used it in the title of our book: Where People Count Most: 150 Years of News and Images from The Progress Review.
If we do our job well, those four simple words will be evident not only in our response to those who have news to share with the community, but also in the quality of how it is reported in the pages of The Progress Review.
In recent years, The Progress Review has been lauded for the quality of its coverage in several areas- education, agriculture and government, along with awards for quality writing. While we’re proud of such accomplishments, the truth is that many of these stories would have gone untold had someone not brought them to our attention.
As the very best source for news that matters to our comunnity, we encourage you, dear reader, to continue bringing those stories to us so they may be shared with the People Who Count Most.