When we bought the newspaper almost 13 years ago, the newspaper was running columns entitled Highway News, Kent County News, and Dickens County News. They contained informative news for readers interested in hearing about people in those communities who, during the previous week, may have undergone surgery, had children visit over the weekend, or entertained guests for dinner. Of those columns only one–Kent County News–still exists, but even it makes only sporadic appearances.
I have had several readers who are former residents, but now live outside the communities, write to tell me that they feel we don’t have enough news about such “events”. Just this morning I received yet another note from a woman who even canceled her subscription for this reason. Many have criticized our Kent County News columnist for “not caring” enough. One wrote “I wish you would find a good news man or news woman willing to cover Kent County”.
Accusations from readers that we do not have “enough Kent County news” are unfounded. We cover the school and community events in Kent County and Dickens County as a newspaper does and is supposed to do. Often news from Kent County appears on our front pages, but I guess those filing the complaints didn’t notice. Many of those complaints have come from subscribers who are older and still interested in the news of a more personal nature, and they hope to see a name they recognize from their past. I can appreciate that, but I think that our readers who live in our communities of coverage have became a bit shy over the years about sharing such personal information with those columnists still willing to take on the task of trying to gather such news. Perhaps we, like the rest of modern society have become more private about sharing such intimate information, and, on occasion, our columnists caught complaints for it and became reluctant to even take on the task of writing the columns. Consequently that form of reporting is now becoming extinct.
Those of us of the younger generations would rather not tell everyone about our house guests or what we served for dinner. And our gall bladders are rather personal issues, and most of us aren’t really interested in sharing that surgical experience with those in our communities. Today’s world considers that as “TMI” or “too much information”, not to mention that publishing such information could be considered an invasion of privacy and lead to a lawsuit, and that is a risk that this publisher is unwilling to take.