In the Times: Community connections made one person at a time

One of my first memories of newspapers was having my own name appear in my hometown weekly in Lexington, Mass., at the age of 10 or 11.

I threw a runner out at the plate at the end of a Little League baseball game on a fly ball to right field, and someone thought it was impressive enough to do a little writeup.

I gotta tell you, I was walking on air for the next week. There’s something about having your name in the paper.

And it’s this kind of connection between the public and the Times papers that we have been trying to solidify with new features including the very popular Friends & Neighbors writeups that have made their way into print over the last few weeks (To get your story told, simply email times@theday.com and tell us what’s new, being sure to include a photograph).

Now, I have made another great connection by hearing from the new journalism teacher at Waterford High School, Stephanie Hartell. We are currently cooking up ways her students could get stories published in the Times, and I am hoping other schools would do much the same.

If we hear from enough of you, we will schedule a meeting to talk about it so everyone can weigh in. If only a couple more schools are onboard, I can talk one on one with anyone interested — give us a call at (860) 701-4356 — but this should be great for the kids, the schools, the Times and the readers, so email ideas at l.howard@theday.com!

Meanwhile, we continue to reach out to the community offering support in how to get into the newspaper. In the past week or so, I have fielded more than a dozen requests for the press release packet we compiled, so email me at l.howard@theday.com to get a copy.

For a more in-depth tutorial, check out the “Books & Things” public-access show on SEC-TV in Groton hosted by Tom Santos. The show is being taped Thursday, July 12, for broadcast at 7 that night, as well as 9 a.m. Sunday on Comcast and TVC Channel 12 (I will also post on our Facebook page, TheTimesCT).

And please know that we take your ideas, complaints and compliments very seriously. It’s what keeps us on our toes, doing what is best for local coverage.

And we sometimes fail. We had a snafu with library listings in Montville that we just identified and corrected (we hope) so it won’t happen again. But if items you want in are not making it into the paper, we want to know so we can make corrections.

We thank you for exhibiting the same passion for your local newspaper that we try to put into it every week. It’s people like you that make a community a fun place to be.

Lee Howard is The Day’s community editor, in charge of eight Times weekly newspapers.

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