Lee: ‘Issues directly affect me’

I am a subscriber to a daily and a community newspaper. Given a choice, I would read my local paper rather than the daily.In that I usually watch the provincial and national news on television, I would not miss the daily...

I am a subscriber to a daily and a community newspaper. Given a choice, I would read my local paper rather than the daily.

In that I usually watch the provincial and national news on television, I would not miss the daily that much if I did not read it.

Our local paper, The News, contains coverage of issues that directly affect me and my family; for example, the disclosure of a proposal to rezone land near my home, or the development of an industry that may cause further pollution in my neighborhood.

Cover to cover

I usually skim through the paper from cover to cover, making a mental note of items that interest me, and at the same time looking at the names of people mentioned in the articles.

If I see the name of a person I am acquainted with, I will read the article even though I am not particularly interested in the subject being written about. The activities of the people in my community give our local newspaper its personality.

I particularly enjoy reading the editorial section. It is illuminating to get a feel of how various people in the area view the issues of the day.

I also anticipate reading the Lifestyles section. It is always interesting to see photographs of newlyweds, or graduates, etc. I am more likely to read an item if there is an accompanying photograph.

Community events

I would encourage community newspapers to be generous in displaying community events listings. To me, they reflect the pulse of the community and should be itemized clearly and attractively. (I have observed that our local paper has, over the years, made definite improvements in this area.)

As a female consumer, I resent sexist advertising. I dislike ads wherein the female form is provocatively displayed to sell a product. This kind of advertising often adversely influences my decision to purchase a particular product.

Product information

I want to be informed of new and improved products, but I am not impressed by inflated claims. I do not respond to free offers because I am 99% sure that if I do, my name will be placed on a mailing list.

I do clip coupons, but I find that unless the savings are substantial – 50 cents to 75 cents – I do not use them that often. I do not have the time nor the inclination to skim all of the advertising for the various businesses.

Usually, I look only at the ads for the grocery stores that I shop at, and ignore the others. If I am in the market for a particular item, however, I will look at the ads from all of the stores to see where I can get the best price.

I often cut articles out of the paper with the intention of filing them for future reference. They usually end up in the wastebasket when I clean out drawers, but the point is that they were worthwhile saving. I like articles on health and nutrition, and I often clip recipes.

I compared a 1989 edition of our local paper with a current one, and I did not notice much of a difference in the quality or content.

One improvement was the use of more blue headings and backgrounds in addition to the usual black. The old edition used more red, which I do not like as much as blue. To me, the color blue is very reader-friendly and attractive.

Special

To summarize, I do value my community newspaper very much, and the day of the week on which it visits my doorstep is somewhat special. There is no better way to be connected with one’s community than through the local newspaper.

Judy Lee, 50, lives in Abbotsford, B.C. and co-ordinates a support group for caregivers at Matsqui-Abbotsford Community Services. She is married with two children.