Live from the Italian Festival: How do you say great day in Italian?
No one is ever going to mistake me for Italian.
So I kind of stuck out like a sore thumb at yesterday’s third annual Italian-American Heritage Festival in Rose Tree Park.
Hey, count me as Italian for a day. I had a blast and got to do something I and people who do what I do for a living don’t really get to do nearly enough.
I got to go out, meet readers (and some non-readers) and talk about what I do. And how they can be part of the process.
We call it engagement. It’s something we are doing a lot more of these days.
We’re partnering with readers. Yesterday we made them part of our story from the festival.
What we did was set up a little station where we were live-streaming the events and talking to those who dropped by.
Every time someone stopped by our tent, we offered them one of our special ‘Fancast’ T-shirts if they would sit down with us on our live-stream and talk about the newspaper.
It’s really an eye-opening experience. Too often we spend most of our time talking “at” readers. We should spend more time talking “with” them. After all, this really is something of a community discussion. It’s just that in the past it’s been pretty one-sided.
That is changing.
People told us what they liked about the papers. And what they didn’t like. And yes, they all want us to make the size of the type on the puzzles pages bigger.
And it wasn’t just citizens. A cavalcade of elected officials also wandered by and sat in with our live-stream. We had County Council members Colleen Morrone and Mario Civera, who made news in admitting that at this point the county is not likely going to move forward with building a new animal shelter and is instead focusing on getting a new deal with the Chester County SPCA to take in Delco’s strays.
We had two state reps stop by as well. Rep. Greg Vitali, D-166, of Haverford, and Rep. Nick Miccarelli, R-162, of Ridley Park, both talked about the state budget process that will kick into high gear this week and the difficulty of education funding in the state.
What is it with all these Italian guys in the Legislature? Just kidding, guys. Miccarelli had taken to his Facebook page to rib me about being the Irish guy at the Italian Festival so I thought I would return the favor.
Thanks to everyone who took part. Look for us in a community near you.
Remember, this is a two-way conversation. We come to you every day in print and online. And we’re asking you to become part of the conversation.
Why not join us.
When we work together, just about anything is possible.
Even an impossibly Irish editor can become Italian for a day.