Wednesday, April 27, 2011

About yesterday's edition

I have been toiling at this newspaper for almost 29 years.

Not many days compare to yesterday. In short, as any number of readers took the time to tell us, it was a disaster.

We experienced serious computer and production problems at the Chester County plant where we are now printing the newspaper.

The problems were myriad. We were very late getting to homes and stores in the county. But even more serious was the newspaper itself. In a word, it was a mess.

The problem stemmed from the technology we now use to create the newspaper. The transmission of our pages to our printing facility was working fine. We delivered all of our content as we do each night. The problem came in the next step in the process, taking those pages and making the plates that go on the presses. That piece of equipment was down. And we were stuck smack dab in the middle of the process.

The result was a newspaper that was missing a lot of crucial information. Things like the lead local stories that were bannered on the front page, but did not appear inside. Pages were printed out of their normal sequence, without page numbers, even a page from the newspaper the day before and a couple from one of our sister papers.

Our problems did not escape our readers. The phone lines lit up shortly after the papers hit the street and did not stop the rest of the day.

We fielded hundreds of calls from readers, some angry, some quizzical, some just wondering what happened to their newspaper.

But in listening to all those readers, I noticed an interesting theme.

Our readers, many of whom have been reading this newspaper for decades, love this newspaper. They like reading it from cover to cover. Yes, they wondered what happened, but they were even more concerned for our welfare - and that of the newspaper.

If I had a quarter for every conversation I had yesterday with a person who informed me, “I’ve been reading your newspaper all my life,” I could retire now.

After inquiring about what had happened to yesterday’s edition, one reader pretty much summed up a lot of what I heard yesterday.

“We’re calling because we love you,” she said.

We love you, too. Yesterday we let you down. We don’t intend to make it a habit.

Thanks for taking the time to tell us how much you care.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such a shame when y'all have those pretty shiny presses just hanging out not being utilized anymore.

April 27, 2011 at 9:00 AM 
Anonymous tom killeen said...

serves you right for moving to Cheste County...shameful!

April 27, 2011 at 1:08 PM 

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