Newspaper thrives on reader feedback

We love that The Advocate-Messenger has readers who care about their local newspaper. Not every paper is so lucky.

We know just how many of you out there read and respond to what’s printed on these pages because we’ve gotten a lot of feedback in recent weeks as the pages have undergone some changes. We no longer have a TV book — just one of many ways we’ve reorganized and reduced non-local content in recent years — and as a result, we moved TV listings into the paper.

We learned from many callers after the change that they did not want to lose any of our advice columnists — Dear Abby, Hints From Heloise, Dr. Roach — as a result of this change. It took some time to figure out the logistics, but we’ve now come up with a way to keep all the advice columnists and the TV listings in the paper without cutting any of our local content.

This change happened because readers let us know how they were feeling and told us what they wanted. We love that and want to see more of it, especially if it means you’re getting involved in putting local content in the paper.

We want your opinions on our opinion page, your kids and family photos on our keepsakes page, your events on our weekender page.

And we want you to let us know what you think — that’s the only way we know what we can do better.

That doesn’t mean everything under the sun is possible. National news, for example, is not something The Advocate-Messenger is going to focus on.

Thanks to the internet, things like NASCAR, national weather forecasts and stock market news are available from a thousand different sources instantly. There’s no way for a small community paper in the heart of the Bluegrass to compete with that. Instead, we want to focus our resources on what we do best — and what only we can do: covering our readers’ community.

We do that by attending all of the public government meetings we can find and sharing with you the important news about how your local elected officials are doing their jobs. We do that by covering local high school games and athletes in an in-depth way no one else does. We do that by partnering with local schools to give high school students their own student newspapers inside our A section. We do that by taking your photos, events and other submissions and printing them for thousands to see.

On any given day, we aim for The Advocate-Messenger to be packed with content you care about and that you can’t find anywhere else. Because a community newspaper is nothing without its community.