Commentary: Make your voice heard

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For the past few months many of you (I hope) have had the chance to read at least a handful of stories with my byline attached to it. Since I came to the Nevada Appeal in February, I have enjoyed my time learning about what kind of coverage our readers enjoy and have tried to adapt my stories accordingly. Now, I find myself in a new position. One where I can ask you, the reader, to provide input regarding our sports coverage.

I was recently promoted to a position that we are calling sports supervisor and with that I was given the freedom to make some changes to the section. Of the upcoming changes, you will see a bigger online focus with things like live, in-game blogs similar to what we did during Western Nevada College baseball's playoff run, a high school insider page with stats, standings, feature stories and more and a friendlier sports cover page and television schedule.

For those of you who may not know me, I came from the Reno Gazette-Journal where I began as a sports intern. I worked there for about two years, while finishing my last few semesters of school and received a great opportunity to come here after Mike Houser, unfortunately, had to leave. In my time in newspapers, I have learned that different markets have different coverage needs and that is definitely true in this area. While Reno and Carson City may be only 30 minutes away, there may be a desire to read stories that don't usually get printed in other newspapers.

So, with that, we are planning a focus group with our readers. Actually, there will be two. One will be conducted at the Nevada Appeal office Aug. 20 for an invited group and the other will be scheduled online soon after for anyone interested. I am inviting readers to sign up for one of the spots available and hope to receive a strong response. Please e-mail or call me by noon Friday.

For those readers who can't make the in-person focus group, we will host an online version using our live blog. This will give you an opportunity to still have your voice heard and may be easier for some people. I haven't set the date for this yet, but if you would like to be a part of this group, either watch for an update at or send me your e-mail address and I can forward the information.

What we're looking for in this discussion is to develop coverage priorities that better match reader interests. If you wish for community sports over, say, the NFL, then that makes it easier to decide what gets in the paper and what doesn't. Obviously, Carson High School athletics are a big part of our coverage and always will be, so we would like to know if our coverage level of the school is adequate, or if we can improve.

I look forward to having conversations with you and hope that we can get some great input from the two groups.


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