Our mission, your input, my promise

by Carla Robinson
Posted 9/16/21

Last week, I began my new role as editor of this storied newspaper. And I consider myself fortunate indeed. I have always loved journalism, and being able to do it amid so much history and such a deep bench of fascinating people is an opportunity few could pass up.

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Our mission, your input, my promise

Posted

Chestnut Hill is such a special place. The buildings, so distinct and interesting, seem to have been grown from the ground they sit on. The leafy streets connect it to the beautifully forested park that cradles it. The central business corridor, so lively and pleasant to walk along, is a place where people from all walks of life come together. Mt. Airy, too, has irreplaceable charm, and it brings its own special character to the commercial strip that links the two neighborhoods. No wonder so many interesting and accomplished people have chosen to settle here.

Last week, I began my new role as editor of this storied newspaper. And I consider myself fortunate indeed. I have always loved journalism, and being able to do it amid so much history and such a deep bench of fascinating people is an opportunity few could pass up.

I started out in the trade at a small weekly newspaper not much different than this one. It was there I learned that the job of reporting is much more than just writing stories about whatever may have happened that week. It requires paying close attention to what people really care about, engaging with the full range of personalities that populate the community, and uncovering truths about how they all interact with one another. To be effective at this, you need an inquiring mind, and ability to synthesize conflicting facts and confidence in your own judgment. A robust sense of humor helps, and so does a healthy dose of humility.

Several weeks ago, this paper ran an editorial describing its mission this way:

The role of a community newspaper is multi-faceted. We have a responsibility to inform our readers and provide reliable, factual reporting. We shine a light on issues that are consequential to the common good. We serve as the moderator for the public discourse and strive to reflect the diversity of voices in our community.  We are the promoter of local organizations, businesses, causes and events.  We entertain and engage with stories of remarkable community members. Every week, we try to reflect and encourage the connectivity that is the bedrock of a strong, vibrant, and successful community.

I intend to live up to that mission. And I am asking you to help me. I will need your input and your perspective, because my job is not to have all the answers. It is to listen and be open to what I don’t yet understand.

In return, this is my promise to you: I will be curious, open-minded and interested in your point of view. I will seek your opinion and value it. I won’t wait for news you care about to come to me. I will instead go out and look for it. In the coming weeks and months, I will be reaching out to introduce myself to as many of you as I possibly can. If I haven’t met you already, I hope to soon.

I also invite you to come to me with ideas for stories you think our paper should cover.

You can find me the old-fashioned way, and stop by our office at 8434 Germantown Avenue. (We ask that you are vaccinated or wear a mask when you come in.) You can also reach me at: 215-248-8802, carla@chestnuthilllocal.com, Twitter: @TheCHLocal or Facebook.com/ChestnutHillLocal.

Last, and perhaps most important: Our first responsibility is to get the facts straight. As journalists, we strive to ensure that everything we print is accurate and true. Still, we are human and we will make mistakes. When we do, please let us know. You will not be bothering us or hurting our feelings. You will be helping us make your paper the best it can be.

I look forward to working with you to nurture this newspaper that serves you, our readers, and this wonderful place we all call home.

Carla Robinson
Editor

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