Hit us, and hard

By The Columbia Chronicle

Seven weeks ago, when we here at The Chronicle put out the first issue of the year, we placed on page two a collection of staff photos and bios. And in case you were a new student or you just didn’t notice, all but a couple of the faces were brand new.

This year, The Columbia Chronicle is an inheritance of sorts, passed down to us by those who have either graduated or moved on to bigger things. It’s no secret that we’re a fortunate bunch. Like a pitching coach who gets the call to manage the best team in the league, we need not build an award-winning newspaper from the ground up, we already have one.

Still, every cloud has its radiation to go with that silver lining, and we’ve inherited a few problems along with the trophy case, including a ho-hum reaction from students and faculty, a noticeable knack for compiling a large number of typos and misspellings and a somewhat over-opinionated, inaccessible staff of writers.

So are things better now? We’d like to think so. We’ve been tinkering with the structure of the newspaper every week, frequently innovating and improving on the previous format. We’re taking careful steps to present information instead of speculation, ideas before egos. And when we say that we are striving to meet the needs of our readers, we actually mean it. Consequentially, the overall reaction to the paper has been more positive this semester than in years past and readership is up.

We’d like to thank all the readers who have taken the time to write letters, participate in the online forums and hit us with their opinions. But we want more. As new as we are to the newspaper biz (most of us, if not all, aren’t even journalism majors), we have only so many clues when it comes to accommodating an audience of thousands.

The Columbia Chronicle is a newspaper written for a community, by a community. And if you’re reading this editorial right now, that includes you. Have an opinion about an article you loved or hated? Write us a letter — we’ll print it. Want to pen a guest column? Go ahead and do it. Have a great story idea or any kind of suggestion for the paper? We want to know about it. Chances are, we’ll find a way to make it happen.

Pass the cheese if you will, but The Chronicle can’t live without its readers. You folks split, and we’re out of work. That’s the bad news. The good news is that you own this newspaper every bit as much as we do, and your tips are just as sharp as any of ours. So go ahead, give us your best shot. You just might be pleasantly surprised with the result.