Brian Sandford: Reader representatives make our newspaper better
The Appeal receives numerous tips from readers each week, some of which turn into quality stories. We rely on that relationship so we can produce the kind of newspaper that the readers, in turn, are most interested in.
I posted an item on Facebook a couple of months ago asking if anyone would be interested in serving as a reader representative, sharing his/her thoughts about the paper in general and the opinion page in particular. The response was encouraging, and in the sake of fairness, I selected the first two people who expressed interest.
They turned out to be excellent choices. Chris Bayer and Georgia Spencer have been offering suggestions since Aug. 1 about what we write in our editorials, as well as what I write in this column. A recent editorial about the perils of drug addiction was Bayer’s idea. They also provide feedback on our columns, which I in turn share with our columnists. And they’ve been reviewing submissions from prospective conservative columnists, offering their input.
Bayer, of Carson City, has lived in Nevada since the mid-1970s and is the director of CASA of Carson City, a nonprofit organization that provides volunteers who act as advocates for children taken into state care as a result of abuse and neglect. He has written several history books and is a songwriter and musician, performing locally.
Spencer, of Dayton, previously lived in Carson City and has been in Nevada for nine years. She says she has spent most of her life in rural communities and aims to represent that segment of our readership. Spencer has worked as an operations resource manager for Securing Our Country, a contractor that supports overseas military bases, Greater Nevada Credit Union and elsewhere.
Bayer and Spencer will serve in their roles until Nov. 1, and subsequent reader representatives also will serve three-month terms (and will be introduced in this column). That gives us a steady stream of new ideas and perspectives, and it gives a wider range of readers a chance to contribute.
What are we looking for in a reader representative? Someone who’s intelligent and enthusiastic, and whose only agenda is making the Appeal better. I’ll write an invitation for candidates in about five weeks. If you’re interested, I look forward to hearing from you.
Editor Brian Sandford can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.