ONE of the great strengths of the Derbyshire Times is its open and frank dialogue it has with its readers.
And never has it been easier to air your view: Facebook and Twitter – as well as other quickly emerging publishing platforms – means that it has never been easier to lavish praise or mete out criticism to whomever your heart desires.
Almost without fail I receive letters from people who think I’ve made the wrong call in terms of my leader column, or even the front page story selection. Take this week for example –I’ve happily published two letters from people who think they could have called last week’s front page better, and I really do value that feedback. It’s essential to a newspaper’s healthy relationship with its readers.
The nub of the criticism is that last week’s splashing of a ‘shameful scrounger’ smacked of ‘bad news sells’. That wasn’t my motivation for last week’s page one – rather to show the hard-working people of Chesterfield and beyond that the Derbyshire Times (with myself at the helm) will always be on the side of the law-abiding, hard-working citizen.
But I’m also one to redress the balance, so this week I’ve gone all guns blazing for good news in the shop window.
I know it’s there, you know it’s there, but to see our community spirit in action in Clowne, where a mum and her son lost everything in a house fire, brings home to you how lucky we all are to live amongst one another.
Jackie Scamp and her nine-year-old boy called us simply to say thank you, so we’ve allowed her to do it in style.
Add to that our front page nod to our superb FREE! ‘Book Early’ supplement and our brand-new 12-page Business Monthly showcase and it all adds up to a front page that shouts loud and proud about the merits of Chesterfield.
by James Mitchinson, Editor