Tuesday, July 04, 2006

If I Ran the Courier

So just what have that headline and this picture to do with each other. Simple. I've lived in Prescott nearly 25 years -- and I've never seen a feature story about all those summer camps that ring the city (15 of 'em, according to the Yellow Pages)! I'm curious about them. As history. As employers of how many people? As businesses bringing how many $ into the local economy. As a group and individually.

But then I've never seen a really good story introducing the "Tri-Cities" readers to the surrounding countryside. Skull Valley? Yarnell? Ash Fork? Hillside? Yava? Seligman?

We have business pages -- but where's the analytical story about ranching in Yavapai County as a business -- and where it is headed (aside from the developers' portfolios).

I raise these questions -- and many more -- because of the many newcomers, who should really know more about the area they have chosen as home.

Do they know that there are four important (Arizona- style) rivers in the county? Just FYI, the Verde, the Agua Fria, the Hassayampa and the Santa Maria.

Just the other day, the Courier discovered gold mining. Hey -- it's been going on out in the local boonies ever since I arrived up here in the mountains (and before, of course.) If not the paper, then who should warn folks who wander the woods that they might well run into real, genuine, gritty, bearded prospectors -- who are quite as tetchy about their claims as any character in an old Western movie. And they often pack heat.

It's funny -- there's one flavor to the town if you stay cooped up inside the city limits except for the occasional trip down to the Big City in the Valley. There's another flavor if you drive out and around on occasion, but stick to the black top. And there's yet an entirely different world out there if you'll let the car get a little bit dusty on one (or many) of those back roads.

It seems to me that one of the missions of the local paper should be to introduce people to the wonderful area where they are now living. Maybe the staff of the paper need to be introduced themselves!


catalyst said...

Equally intriguing - a picture of "Anytown Camp" that posts a sign at its entrance saying "No Camping."

Former mayor Sam Steiger referred to the Courier as "The Daily Disappointment." Not much has changed.

Granny J said...

I thought about that "no camping" sign when I first saw it, but then other ideas crowded it out!

I find the Courier both useful reading--and frustrating. The new "community" page wastes precious space that could be used for reports from stringers in the outlying areas I mentioned. Really surprised that the paper doesn't utilize stringers! That's a classic solution for small town papers with limited $ for salaries.

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