This issue marks the end of my eighth month at Q-Notes. Three-fourths of the way to a full year’s work and the newness has begun to fade. I’m finding my opportunity here both rewarding and challenging. Unfortunately, frustration is an emotion I’m getting to know rather well through my job.
Let me explain.
Q-Notes covers a large area — two entire states, in fact. In total, our coverage area encompasses an 85,885 square-mile expanse that more than 13 million people call home. Just about one million or more LGBT people live in towns stretching from east to west, north to south.
At the same time, we are a small paper. Although we’ve got plans in the works, we currently have just one office — in Charlotte. Despite the Queen City’s central location to both Carolinas, we can’t travel everywhere.
While complaints about news and event coverage are occasionally lodged from every community in the two states, the greatest discontent comes from North Carolina’s Triangle area, once home to The Front Page, a paper that merged with Q-Notes in 2006.
As much as we’d like to, we can’t cover it all. Between attempting to sync events with our news cycle and balancing space and time limitations, we try our best to give you the most possible and most relevant news, politics, features, entertainment, arts coverage and more.
Our most frustrating and most persistent challenge, however, is that we often don’t know what is happening in the communities across our coverage area because no one has bothered to tell us.
Sometimes we find out about events just days prior to their scheduled dates — too late to include pre-coverage in the print edition. Sometimes we find out about events after they’ve already occurred. Post-coverage isn’t always that interesting. Do people not realize how much pre-coverage can help their organizations and events? It’s pretty much free advertising.
Perhaps some of the miscommunication is our fault. Not having a physical presence in the Triangle, Wilmington and Columbia creates a lack of information flow. Perhaps some of the miscommunication is that we haven’t done a good enough job of explaining that Q-Notes is here to serve you. Let me rectify that now: My inbox is always open. Send in your press releases. Submit your events. Send us the links to your organizational websites and keep them updated.
In the coming weeks and months, you will notice a few changes in how we reach out to you and how we cover the news in the region. We hope these changes will foster a better sense of unity in our various communities, especially the Triangle.
Remember that I’m always game for open and frank discussion. Have a complaint? Send it my way. Have a suggestion on how we can improve? Let me know. Want to publicly air a gripe, concern or praise? Write a letter to the editor and share it with the community.
From Cherokee to Charleston, Mt. Airy to Hilton Head Island, Raleigh to Columbia — we’re all in this community together. Let’s reflect our unity right here in the pages of your very own Q-Notes, your region-wide Carolinas news, lifestyle, events and entertainment source.
Help change my frustration from lack of material to having to choose between too much material. In the process, we’ll work together to make your organizations and events more widely known and successful. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. Deal?
Send your letter to the editor or any other thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Limit letters to 150 words or less and include your name, city and state and a phone number where you can be reached.