The Right ChordGood reporting makes for stories that reach, touch people

Damian Mulinix's article in the Feb. 4 edition about Krist Novoselic, formerly of the grunge rock band Nirvana, reached outside the Chinook Observer's readership to touch readers worldwide.

This article detailed not only the history of Nirvana, but also examined Novoselic's interest in politics.

Immediately following its publication, Mulinix began receiving e-mails from myriad places, including Colombia. The response was akin to that of a Mother's Day story last year about a family with 12 children, also written by Mulinix.

The vehicle for reaching out beyond our printed pages is the Internet. Both of these stories were featured on the Observer's Web site, www.chinookobserver.info. Within days of its publication, more than 2,000 readers had viewed the story online. We often wish we had that kind of feedback in the print edition, but I know it was surely well read in the traditional format, too.

Another similarity was these stories talked about folks who are striving to make the world better. Those are great stories and great journalism, at home and afar. And each week, in less apparent ways, news in the Chinook Observer does just that.

Editor Matt Winters is taking some time off to travel in Mexico and catch his breath. It's no small secret that the Chinook Observer is a quality newspaper with many stakeholders here on the Peninsula. It's also no small task to write, photograph and present the news and advertising that reflect this community. In his absence, the Observer crew is working hard to meet your expectations.

I'm Laura Sellers-Earl, your guest editor. My regular job is as the corporate Internet editor for East Oregonian Publishing Co., the parent company of this newspaper. I post the Observer's Web site and maintain the subscriber archives, in addition to other sites and duties.

About four years ago, I was the managing editor of The Daily Astorian, so I've been watching the Observer and its community for 12 years. While I am a fan of this publication and the Long Beach Peninsula, I've seen it all from a distance. I'm counting on you to bring me close to your home, helping the Chinook Observer serve the its readers and customers better.

My goal during my time here is to provide compelling, accurate and thought-provoking news. I'm a firm believer in the power of journalism to inform, educate and motivate people to action.

To that end, we're launching a project in conjunction with the Associated Press Managing Editors Credibility Roundtables to build a database of readers. We will ask those of you with e-mail addresses to sign up. Then, occasionally, we'll send out a question about a local, state or national issue or even about our coverage, and ask that you send us your thoughts for publication in print, online or just to inform our coverage.

To read more about this project, you can visit (www.apme-credibility.org/)

If you're interested in becoming a member of the Chinook Observer's readers' advisory group, feel free to e-mail me at (webmaster@chinookobserver.com). I'll get some more information from you and begin putting the database together.

In the near future, you can sign up online at www.chinookobserver.info. Watch for notices in this paper about that option.

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