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In search of good ideas

We’re looking for a few good ideas, in order to serve you better.

Putting together a newspaper is like building a puzzle, day after day — except, of course, that no two people would assemble the various pieces the same way.

The trick is to find a way to mesh your composite of the puzzle pieces with those of your audience.

At the Advocate, we’re always looking for ways to make a stronger connection with you and your view of the puzzle. After all, newspapers must be, at their heart, community resources to survive.

We must reflect the community, serve it and advocate on its behalf.

We must also challenge the community to better itself.

And we must entertain and invigorate our readers.

As a package, it’s a mighty tall order of business, each and every day.

Our success depends on our ability to connect with readers, on a variety of levels, and fill your information needs.

And if we are really intent on doing our jobs well, we must strive to be a tool to help you live your lives to the fullest.

That means we offer you information about events and initiatives in the community.

It means we tell you about trends, ideas and projects that will influence how tomorrow will unfold in Central Alberta.

We tell you about the people who are important in the community, and why. And the events that similarly enrich our lives.

We tell you about the people who diminish the value of our community, and the events in the community that have damaged our lives. You can’t improve or remove the faults without examining them.

We also strive to reflect the community back to itself, to examine its strengths and weaknesses, and to advocate, when necessary, to encourage the process of growth and prosperity.

And we set out each day to put a smile on your face.

The trick, of course, is that every reader is different. You have different needs, priorities, interests and means than your neighbour.

And so, walking a fine line, we attempt to offer something for as many people as possible. How else can we reach a broad audience if we’re not as inclusive as resources and imagination allow?

But sometimes being inclusive is so much spinning on icy roads: writing stories about subjects of marginal interest, in order to serve a small segment of our readership, in the end simply shuts out a broader group of readers.

So every day, we make tough choices about what we will cover, how we will cover it, and how we will display those items to attract your attention.

And, quite honestly, we don’t always get it right: sometimes, the puzzle looks a little askew.

So we would like to know what you think of the job we’re doing, and what we could do better.

Send me a note on what we do wrong, what we do right, and what we could do differently.

With your help, we’ll look for ways to put the puzzle pieces together to provide a little more clarity for your life.

Send your emails to, or send a note to: John Stewart, Red Deer Advocate, 2950 Bremner Ave., Red Deer, Alberta, T4R 1M9.

John Stewart is the Advocate’s managing editor.



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