Column: This is just the beginning

• Originally published in the Kane County Chronicle on March 16, 2009

Welcome to the new Chronicle.

A lot of time and effort has been put into this project to create a truly local newspaper, and there still is much work to do. This simply is our initial step in what we believe is the right direction for a local newspaper to be heading.

In other words, this is just the beginning.

This week, we’ll introduce just a few of the local features we’re planning. More are in the works. And even more will continue to be in the works. We need to be constantly striving to become better at providing you quality local news and features as well as to keep improving that quality.

It’s a hard, exhausting road. But luckily we have good traveling companions in you, our readers.

And we will need your help, your guidance and your ideas because ultimately the only way we can succeed is if we are able to provide you unique, interesting content that keeps you coming back.

Some of this content will be staff-driven. We have a talented, experienced team of reporters here at The Chronicle. Our three Tri-Cities reporters have a combined 76 years of newspaper experience, with 35 of that at The Chronicle.

And some will be created by local residents who have an expertise in one field or another. We’ll constantly be recruiting those who have something of worth to add to their community newspaper.

It’s been stressful getting ready for this, and certainly we’re eager to put out a terrific first week of new papers with the new format. It’s perfectly normal to want to impress on a first date, and in many ways that’s exactly what this feels like.

But it’s important to realize this is not just about the first week. It’s about what we can provide for you next month. And the month after that. And a few months after that. And the year after that.

We’re not looking for just a few dates with this community. We want to build a lasting relationship with the community we cover and the residents who live there. We believe local news has an important place in our society, and we want to provide the best local news we possibly can.

Yes, it will take a lot of work. Yes, it will be a long road to travel.

But you have to take that first step before you can take the next one. And this is our first step.

• QUICK CAST – Every Monday through Friday afternoon, we now will have a video up on our Web site telling you the latest breaking news, what to expect in the next day’s newspaper and the forecast for that night and the next day. You can check it out at KCChronicle.com.

• FORUM FUN – I had the pleasure of attending the St. Charles candidate forum on Sunday and will be at the Geneva candidate forum at 1 p.m. March 22 at the Geneva Public Library. If you want to find out more information about the candidates in the upcoming election, I would certainly encourage you to attend.

• COMICS CHANGES – I’m sure many of you have questions about how we decided which comics to put in the smaller space we had available for them with the new paper size. You can be sure that I will delve into that with a future column. I can say, though, that we did try to be as fair as possible when selecting them in order to give our readers a wide range of comics.

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

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