Like many “wise sayings” this statement is not universally true. For example, the young people of Washington County are not eager to see their names in the all-too-common accounts of accidents, arrests, and sentencing. Neither of course are the adults who care about them.
But a photo credit, a news story by-line, or a mention on the editorial page masthead? That’s a different story — a good news story — and that’s why we need to support the next issue of The Breeze, The Bridge’s second annual exercise in social entrepreneurialism and faith in the future of young people, informed citizens, and newspapers. This edition is published, with Bridge staff direction, by young people with energy and talent. Most of them are showcasing hard-won classroom skills to the Real World for the first time ever. Up to now, the world has imprinted on them; now, they are poised to return the favor. To everything there is a season, a time to listen, and a time to speak.
A few days ago, as I was walking into the Aldrich Public Library in Barre, I saw a teenaged girl standing on the sidewalk, regaling four or five curb-squatting young people with an F-bomb laden story. They listened, and she clearly enjoyed the audience. I saw in her the yearning of the journalist. All of us — young, middle-aged, old — need to tell our stories, and know we are being heard. That a few of us can turn this need into an appreciated craft or even a good living is almost miraculous.
As a government relations communications professional, I recognize the need to develop a new generation of informed story tellers and listeners. Without both, media is irrelevant and civic knowledge dies. As a parent of three children, I know the positive benefits and opportunities of good community journalism like The Breeze and The Bridge. That’s why I donated to the Breeze on Kickstarter and urge my fellow Bridge readers to join me. I also encourage local businesses to double-up on their Bridge advertising for a week and buy space in The Breeze. It can only enhance your good will in the community, but most important it’s a targeted, strategic investment in our area’s future.
Finally, if you are a parent, teacher, or coach of a good young story-teller, suggest that they join The Breeze staff. Ernest Hemingway applied for a job with the Kansas City Star because he had heard that newspapers liked story-telling writers. Our area is already home to many world-famous writers. Perhaps through The Breeze, there will be more to come.
Montpelier & Berlin