Press Talk Of legacies and why we do stories

first_imgI sneaked into the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington’s annual luncheon this week, and what a neat time that was.They even handed a buck to everybody who attended — a Rutherford B. Hayes gold coin, no less. So it was one of those rare events where you came out with more money than you went in with.The buck was an incentive to begin planning your own legacy.The foundation honored a bunch of folks who have created their own legacy by generously giving to our community in many different ways. The Columbian had a big front-page story on it.Among those honored were Scott and Jody Campbell, owners of The Columbian. Foundation president Richard Melching made note that The Columbian — under the Campbells’ guidance — has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in free advertising to local nonprofit agencies.The Campbells have always believed in giving back.But what about news?As part of The Columbian’s commitment to the community, Melching also noted the number of stories we’ve done on nonprofits. And it was this point that raised a subtle but important question all newspapers and journalists deal with.Why do we do stories?oooThe other day I received an email from an Oregon resort. The woman who sent it sounded very nice. She told me about all the amenities at the resort and said she thought our readers should know about it. I emailed back, thanked her, and said I’d pass it along to our advertising department.last_img read more