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I'm setting goals -- not making resolutions -- for 2010

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By Phyllis McLaughlin

I rarely make New Year’s resolutions. I’ve tried in the past – when I was young and optimistic; but, I learned quickly that I’m not good at changing my habits. Good or bad.

In lieu of resolutions, I have set goals. You may recognize some of them: Lose weight (or at least get back into those smaller sizes gathering dust in my closet); reduce my debt; continue to improve The Trimble Banner (so that everyone wants to buy it); and just be happy, in general.

I hope it shows that I take my job here at the Banner seriously. I want this to be the best community newspaper around. Sure, there are some weeks when the “news” is a bit scarce and the paper a bit thin.

One of the best things I’ve done so far is sign the Banner up for it’s own Facebook page. We have nearly 250 friends signed up, and it’s a fun way to keep in touch.

The Internet is changing the way everyone does almost everything. Businesses are scrambling to adapt from “bricks and mortar” locations to selling on “cyberspace,” which is becoming more and more popular. And, of course, it’s changed the way people get their news. Metropolitan newspapers have been hardest hit, as most of you probably know. Why? Well, they used to be their city’s source for all news – local, national and global. But 24-hour TV news and the Internet both took that away – even from the morning papers, which became the preference for most readers.

However, that’s the one thing they can’t take away from us. Papers like The Trimble Banner often are the only source for the news we provide. Where else can you find out who made the honor roll, who’s getting married or who just had a baby in Trimble County?

Sure, you can find some of that stuff online, but not in one place.

So, that’s why we try to use our Web site as much as possible and that’s why I signed us up for Facebook. In the next few months, we hope, there will be more improvements made to the Web site and what we can offer, too.

But – and this is my own personal opinion – there will never be anything that can truly take the place of seeing your photo or name in newsprint.

To meet my goal of improving the paper, this is my promise: I will continue to strive to get all submitted copy in the newspaper within a couple weeks of receiving it. We’ve been successful in keeping our “waiting list” down to a minimum, and I want to keep it that way.

And, as in the past, I encourage you – our readers – to resolve (or just set as a goal) to be more involved in helping us get the news out there. Last year, I had some good response with reader participation – several of you sent me fall foliage photos that I ran in the paper and online. There are a couple of others who have started to provide me with news of school and youth sports programs, and I think their information has really added to the value of the Banner.

I am the editor, but this is YOUR paper, too. So, don’t be shy. Send me photos or other submissions. I, in turn, pledge to publish everything that is appropriate as quickly as I can.

I look forward to working with more of you. Together, WE can make this the best paper around.

Phyllis McLaughlin is editor of The Trimble Banner and lives in Milton.