This is the weekend during which many people make resolutions for the New Year. It makes logistical sense, after all. The beginning of new year makes for a good time to commit to minor – or even wholesale change. There is a certain symmetry to it, and when it works for people, it’s usually a good thing. After all, most people resolve to do good things – lose weight, quit smoking, spend more time in church or with friends, etc.
Did you know that New Year’s resolutions date back 4,000 years? They originated with the ancient Babylonians, who were also among the first to recognize the arrival of a new year (although it was based on an agrarian calendar). Subsequently, the Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named.
While it might not have worked out so well for the Babylonians or Roman Empire (note to historians: I am being cheeky, so please spare me the hate mail – I get plenty), the tradition has extended all the way to the 21st century and many will be observing the tradition over the next few days.
So, in recognition of the occasion, a couple of resolutions from the editorial department of Minot Daily News.
OK, so I know some regular readers might be tired of me pitching our interactive projects. But they are popular with some and I have a change to announce for January.
Our Meet the Artist feature has been one of the most popular things we have done in the past year. As of Jan. 1, we are opening the feature up to include “Meet the Performer” and an expansion of the definition of “Meet the Artist.” In 2018, we intend to feature an artist or performer from our region each week. Now, here’s the change. While we will continue to spotlight visual artists, we also want to feature musicians, vocalists, songwriters, spoken word poets, actors, directors, producers, stage designers. Think “artist” or “performer” in the broadest sense of the words. Our intention is to mix them up so each week, readers can meet a new creative class personality in any number of professions/crafts/arts.
This is a free opportunity for the creative people contributing to our community to be introduced to our audience. Please email me for details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, our Winter Scenes photo program remains open. We want your pics most indicative of winter in our region, to publish later in the season. It’s easy! Snap a photo of something that just screams “winter” and email it to me, and we will publish a photo essay of your contributions as we compile them.
Every week, readers come forward with tips, leads and observations on stories we have been covering, complete with requests to continue investigating. To those people, I want to say – we never close a story. We never stop looking for more information, more context, more revelations. At the same time we develop new stories, investigate new leads, we also routinely discuss new information or inspiration we receive in regard to stories we broke and have led the way on in the past. From the JailGate death and cover-up to county efforts to escape Sunshine laws, to the parking ramps and other controversial issues we have investigated, we will continue to bring you the latest as we uncover it.
Without revealing any details, since they are still in the works, MDN will be engaging directly with the community with a number of events in 2018. These engagements will be structured to provide a service to the overall community, while also continuing to familiarize residents with our staff.
Furthermore, as the community moves closer to various election cycles, you can count on more MDN candidate forums, open houses and, of course, eventual recommendations. We take this responsibility very serious and are deeply grateful at the tremendous participation we have enjoyed the past year.
Just as in 2016 and 2017, we’re going to bring new columns, features and components to the newspaper in 2018. Hey, don’t ask me what just yet. That’s an ongoing process to see what’s available. You can give me a hand by continuing to write me and let me know what you like and what you don’t. It does matter. We lost access, for example, to the Everyday Cheapskate column a few months ago. Many of you complained and we miss it too. So, we are trying to find a way to get it back. Believe me, something as seemingly simple as that can actually be quite a challenge. But we do hear you and are trying. Never hesitate to drop me a line and let me know what you think of new features, things we might try to add, and what you like the most.
The love our staff shares for community newspaper is based on our love of our community and our ability to protect the public’s interest, champion its best, and offer a place for ideas to compete. Our philosophy is that no one is beneath fair treatment and recognition of human dignity; and no one is above the law or deserving of a free pass for violating the public trust. We will continue to pursue this agenda.
And, as we observe the occasion this week, Minot Daily News wishes you a Happy New Year and a joyous arrival of 2018. May the new year find you healthy, happy and your fondest wishes fulfilled.