My apologies for the big ‘thud’ today

Published 2:02 pm Sunday, February 25, 2007

Newspaper folks need thick skin; it is just the nature of the beast. Excuse us today if we expose a bit of our softer side.

A newspaper’s role is to report the news and sometimes that news is not pleasant or well received.

In those cases, one side or the other — occasionally both — can be upset with what is printed.

Email newsletter signup

Our staff handles countless complaints about perceived unfair coverage or other newspaper issues throughout the year. And that is OK. It comes with the territory and we know that.

But our profession is unlike most other professions.

How many other fields start with a blank sheet of paper each day, create a new product each day and deliver it to thousands and thousands of doorsteps each day, rain or shine?

Lots of people make mistakes at work, but few are as highly distributed and permanent (in writing) as our mistakes are.

And although certainly no one likes to make mistakes or hear complaints, we appreciate the feedback because it is the best way to help us focus on making things better.

Today, however, one complaint may have more to do with the size of the newspaper than the content.

I apologize in advance for the “thud” those of you who have the newspaper delivered to your home may have heard this morning.

You see, today’s newspaper is a bit thicker, a bit heavier than a usual Sunday edition. Today is the day on which we produce our annual Profile edition.

For more years that I can remember, The Natchez Democrat’s staff has produced the annual look at our community.

Through the years the look of the section has changed a bit, but the content and time invested in Profile has only become better with the years.

This year’s edition has a unique theme, “Building Blocks: The ABCs of the Miss-Lou.”

The theme came from a number of discussions among members of our staff who recognized that our community is on the verge of some great things happening.

Things are building all around, from physical construction sites and development to a growing sense of togetherness evidenced in the work of groups such as the Community Alliance.

That growth and potential growth is a testament to the great people who live in our community and the great businesses who serve our community.

Profile 2007 features 136 pages of great stories and advertisements, featuring the people and businesses that make a difference.

Profile may come out on one day, but it is truly months and months in the making.

The newspaper’s advertising and editorial staff members have been working on Profile since the late summer of 2006.

We hope you enjoy the section as much as our staff enjoyed putting it together for our customers.

Also inside today’s edition, we announce our selection for 2007 Citizen of the Year, Alvin Shelby, and nine people who were nominated by our readers as Unsung Heroes in the community. Those special people are prime examples of the kind of hard work, dedication and selflesness that help build on our already great community.

For all of our team who put in long hours and hard work on the section, I say, “Thank you.”

I’m extremely proud of what each of you has done and what each of you does for our newspaper and our customers each and every day.

For our readers, I hope you enjoy Profile and it is OK to call or e-mail when you see mistakes. Despite our best efforts, I’m sure a few still sneaked through.

We can take it. We love what we do and we’ve got thick skin.

Kevin Cooper is associate publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or