Column: The new Chronicle – what a newspaper should be

• Originally published in the Kane County Chronicle on March 14, 2009

I hated middle school. I was terribly unpopular, had few friends, and at one point resorted to begging my parents to put me in home school. I just didn’t know where I fit in.

High school was a new start for me. I changed my attitude. I began talking to those around me. I participated in school activities. I made friends. And while I never became the most popular kid in school, I did almost beat a cheerleader in a school-wide election – which would have been quite a feat for a guy whose after-school activities included newspaper, academic super bowl, musicals, and getting cut during basketball team tryouts.

Here at the Chronicle, we’ve admittedly had a bit of an identity crisis. We tried to be your one-source newspaper for a few years, which would have worked great if – oh, I don’t know – we had reporters in Washington, Chicago and Springfield and television, Web sites and national newspapers weren’t already providing you with plenty of news from these places.

The truth is we are not your daily source for all the news in the world. We are your daily source for news affecting St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, and what we call Kaneland – the towns and areas that feed into the Kaneland school district.

And tomorrow, we start the next step in our life with a new attitude.

We will not have a print version of the paper Monday. It saves us money in these tough economic times. It allows us to make the papers we will put out even better because we’ll have more time to focus on more in-depth stories. It’s the right move for us. For those of you who use the Web, we’ll continue to keep http://www.kcchronicle.com updated every day with the latest news.

We also will be combining our Saturday and Sunday papers into a weekend edition that will be delivered to your homes on Saturday. Just about everything you’re used to receiving in your Saturday and Sunday papers will be in one paper, and it will allow us to add even more local content. You will be getting just as many if not more local features in your weekend edition than you were in your Saturday and Sunday papers combined.

And this Tuesday, the new Chronicle will be revealed. And I am so proud of what we have in store for you. Local stories. Local voices. Local events. It will be a truly local newspaper.

Now, some of you might not like it. I understand that. Try as we might, we can’t please everyone. And all I can ask of you who don’t initially like it is to give it a few weeks and see how you feel then.

But I hope most of you see it for what it is – today’s answer to what a local newspaper should look, feel and read like.

Some of our competitors very well might try to say they are the new local paper. I’m sure you’ve seen this before from them. They do some stories on the Tri-Cities for a few weeks and then go back to covering Arlington Heights, Yorkville or some other suburb that’s a good 30 to 45 minutes away.

The Tri-Cities and western Kane County is what we do. We don’t cover Buffalo Grove. We don’t cover Plano. We cover you.

We have been your local newspaper for many years and we will continue to be that – only more so.

I’m really looking forward to hearing what you have to say about the new Chronicle and the new local features that will come with it throughout the week. We’re in this together, and we certainly can’t be your local paper without the most important component of all – you.

Joe Grace is the editor of the Chronicle. Write to him at jgrace@kcchronicle.com or call him at 630-845-5368.

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