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There’s a lot of serious news published in The Republic over seven issues per week, and appropriately so.
Our pages are filled with news that matters about subjects that are important to our readers — stories about education, how taxpayer dollars are spent, the challenges facing many local businesses in finding properly trained employees, to list just a few.
But one of the joys of living in the Columbus area is that there are many opportunities to — at least temporarily — take your mind off all of the serious news of the day.
Not convinced of that? Just look at the Thursday ZONE section, which has four pages of information each week filled with fun things to do.
Who doesn’t want to have fun?
So besides all of the serious stuff we publish, it’s our job to also make readers aware of opportunities for fun, escape and adventure.
There were almost 70 events listed in ZONE on Thursday, either within the immediate Columbus area or within easy driving distance.
A fluke? Hardly. We have that volume of activities week in and week out.
Things to see. Things to do. Things to appreciate.
And if you have children, things to burn off pent-up energy.
If I were in charge of publicity for a local event, I’d want to make sure mine was listed in the ZONE section so Columbus-area residents could decide whether to try fitting it into their busy schedules.
Besides the long list of events that appear weekly in ZONE, which is at least two pages long, we publish a daily calendar that often lists the same activities over the course of a week. So in some instances, there may have been one, two, three or more mentions of an event before it takes place.
For readers as busy as ours, they seem to appreciate the reminders.
But one of the challenges every editor faces is to spread around “the wealth” — the valuable reporting and photography resources of our staff journalists and the available space to print things-to-do information on newspaper pages.
We try to mix it up, giving many different organizers a chance to have their event featured in a prominent way. Not all of the time, but at least some of the time.
And then there are some events that are so popular — this weekend’s Ethnic Expo is a good example, attracting as many as 30,000 people — that they call for ample coverage in advance plus stories and photographs of the activities themselves.
If you look at the front page of today’s Republic and over the past few days, you can quickly see what I mean.
Other events pale on the attendance scale, perhaps drawing 20 to 50 people. Such turnouts can still be considered good by organizers as they measure success. There’s a place in The Republic for coverage of smaller events, too. Weighing each on its merits, it’s our challenge to determine how best to do that.
When it comes down to an either-or decision, whether to provide publicity in The Republic ahead of time or be there to cover and publish it in the newspaper after the fact, I would bet that event organizers would choose the advance-publicity option.
But it’s human nature to want both. I get that. We just can’t make it happen all of the time.
The best I can do is to explain why we do what we do when it comes to things to do — and then hope that you do understand.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for contributing to
Tom Jekel is editor of The Republic. His column appears each Sunday. You may reach him by phone at 379-5665 or by email at email@example.com.
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