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You’ve got some explaining to do

By Staff | Oct 4, 2020

It seems like people have been asking us a lot of questions lately about why we do or don’t do various things here at the Faribault County Register.

Even more so than usual.

So here are some explanations and answers.

Question: Why don’t you run more good news in your newspaper?

Answer: Honestly, I thought we’ve done a pretty good job of having some good news in every issue. We even try to devote our page two to a nice feature story about something good going on.

We go out of our way to try and hunt down some good news stories from the school, area communities and businesses.

However, there is bad news out there and we feel we need to cover those stories, too, about accidents, fires, crimes and other unpleasant happenings. But we do make an effort to balance it all, with at least some good news every week.

Question: Why do you run photos of people not wearing masks?

Answer: We had this question asked the last couple of weeks even before the letter to the editor about it arrived the other day.

The answer is complicated. In some photos the people had masks on but dropped them for just a minute to have their photo taken. That was the case of the homecoming candidates and the tennis seniors.

In some cases the people are outdoors where masks are not required. The Wine Walk people had to wear masks in stores, but didn’t have to outside, although many did.

In other cases, the photos are from months ago, or even a year ago, before the pandemic and all the rules. Others are submitted to us, and we didn’t have control over masks or no masks such as the wedding photos.

To be honest, we prefer to try and have photos of smiling folks in the newspaper and not ones of everyone masked up. But, we abide by the wishes of those we photograph.

It is sad we have a photo of the homecoming king and queen in the paper this week with their masks on. But, so be it. Perhaps it shows just how weird and wacky 2020 has been.

Question: Do you run every letter to the editor that gets sent in? What is your policy?

Answer: Well, we try to run as many as we can.

The policy is that we give preference to letters from local folks and not people who send out a letter to every single newspaper in the area.

We allow one letter per person on a certain topic, unless they are responding to a letter that was published in response to their first letter.

We do not allow letters that are malicious, libelous, obscene or contain unsubstantiated accusations.

We do correct letters for punctuation, spelling, grammar, etc.

We do not just print letters that we agree with or that are intelligent and well-written. We have printed stupid letters from time to time, and ones we don’t agree with. We have even printed ones that blast the newspaper and insinuate the editor is a doofus.

We do require all letters be signed and have the city of residence of the writer listed. And, we do not want excessively long letters.

Question: How come you don’t have more news from around the area, like Fairmont and Mankato?

Answer: Our policy is to cover only news in Faribault County. There is enough going on here to keep us busy without going out of county or out of state (Iowa).

Question: Well then, why don’t you have more news in your newspaper from around Faribault County?

Answer: We do what we can. Currently we have just two writers on staff and we are trying to cover the meetings of three city councils, the county board, two school boards and three EDAs all in person. Plus covering school news, sports from both BEA and USC and write a few feature stories every week.

It keeps us busy. Not sure we can do just a lot more.

That does not mean, however, that we don’t appreciate news tips and ideas for stories. We do. And right now we are looking for stories for our annual Our Heroes magazine. If you have an idea call or email me.

Question: Why don’t you put all your stories on your website? And why are they not on the website until Sunday?

Answer: Well, we do put an awful lot of them on our website. And, at this point, you can read them there for free. For many newspapers, that is going away.

We wait until Sunday to post them because we want to make sure the printed version of the Register is available before we have stories on the website.

We still want folks to subscribe to the newspaper. And read it. Just like you are doing right at this very moment.

So once again, thanks for reading us. We will continue to do the best we can to make the Register worth picking up.