“We want to hear local people’s voice in newspaper.”
First of all, I would like to describe Cazenovia as a family-friendly small town. People I met at the panel discussion in Cazenovia were very warm and friendly, just like the first impression of the town I received when I got there. Also, they were very eco-friendly and active who love outdoor activities and nature. They were obviously the people who are very passionate about their work and children, in terms of education, and who really enjoy a life of the small town. Even though I met only several people at the panel discussion, I would feel that all the people in this community might be the same—friendly.
Like most of small towns, everybody seems to know everybody in Cazenovia. However, they don’t have what they really want to have and see: the local newspaper, which would build a community stronger. The town actually has its community paper, the Cazenovia Republican, but the residents always felt that they never earned what they’ve really wanted from the paper. I believe that a local paper should be trusted by local communities because it connects everybody in a town and helps them communicate. The local paper doesn’t tell its residents what’s going on around the town, but also builds a strong sense of belonging among the communities. That is why I believe people in Cazenovia really need its community paper.
The community members wants to know and see events, either what already happened or what will be happening in the town the most through the local paper. They want to hear the most updated news, which they can’t gain face-to-face, and so believe the local paper as community watchdog, which would make the community better.
Another thing that I realized from the panel discussion was that children and education are very important for parents in Cazenovia. Like other small towns, kids tend to leave the town when they graduate from high schools. Dedie Williams, one of the panels, said that she no longer feels to be one of the community members, since her kids were grown up. I see how kids are important in this community. As they love sharing information related to their kids like schooling, they seem to bond more with each other.
Also, the community members want to see its seasonal event, farmer’s market including local foods, in the local paper. People would be more aware of what they are consuming and also economy of the town, since its local business highly depends on farming. Besides those I mentioned above, Cazenovia is the town with lots of potential sources for the community paper. This picturesque town has lots of places for outdoors and break, so I think it would be great to introduce those places to visitors through the community paper.
Based on the panel’s opinion, I decided to make a weekly-based community paper rather than a town magazine, which should definitely get attention from all the ages including kids. The community members want their kids to read the newspaper. Considering a young readership, I will make the community paper very visualized but simple at the same time. I personally don’t like newspapers, which use cartoons, but since I’m also targeting the kids, it would be a good way to attract them.
Also, I would like to make a consistency in colors of the community paper. Based on my impression of the very family-friendly Cazenovia town, I’m considering either yellow or light green for the publication’s color, which reflects the warm town.
It is also important to know what’s happening in the town for the community members, but what they really want from the local paper is hearing the people’s voice. This might be the goal for the community paper: sharing their lives. So, I will include materials people can share and support, considering (targeting) each age range of the community members.