Recorder welcomes readers’ input at online forum

Editor-in-Chief
Published: 5/14/2021 5:32:16 PM

The Greenfield Recorder will hold a virtual community forum next week where readers can ask about news coverage and offer feedback.

Join Publisher Shawn Palmer, News Editor Shelby Ashline and myself at the Thursday, May 20, forum held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. via Zoom.

“Joan, Shelby and I are very interested to hear from Recorder readers,” Shawn said. “Since I’m new to town, I am especially interested in knowing what matters to you about our coverage, our place in the community and anything else you want to share with me.”

Our preference would be to hold this forum in person — say, in a large public place — but that is not possible yet.

For a little background, Shawn began as publisher in mid-January, bringing extensive experience with newspapers in Connecticut to the Pioneer Valley, where he also oversees the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Amherst Bulletin, Athol Daily News and Valley Advocate.

Shelby arrived at the Recorder in May 2016 as a recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She started as the North County reporter, covering Northfield, Bernardston, Warwick and Leyden, before being promoted to features editor and later news editor.

“As the North County reporter in a pre-pandemic world, it gave me the chance to get out in the community on a daily basis,” Shelby recalled. “Connecting with people through the course of reporting allowed plenty of readers to speak with me about what the Recorder means to them, as well as areas of improvement. My hope is that this forum will serve as a way to do the same in a virtual, pandemic-safe way.”

For myself, I have been the editor-in-chief with the Recorder for over two years before expanding my role to include the Gazette in January. Previously, I worked at the Gazette for 21 years as a reporter and editor before I led The Taos News in New Mexico for nine years.

During my career, I’ve witnessed numerous changes in how news is covered and delivered to readers. But that does not lessen the Recorder’s commitment to hyper-local journalism.

“The Recorder has been chronicling the events of Greenfield and Franklin County since 1792,” Shawn said. “Those of us entrusted with carrying this work forward will use your comments on May 20 to guide our coverage in the future. I hope you will join us.”

“The editors who came before me have always impressed upon the younger generation that we’re stewards of this 229-year-old institution,” Shelby said. “I know I take that responsibility seriously, and every one of our team members plays a key role in ensuring that the Recorder is a reliable source for meaningful community news. I look forward to hearing suggestions on how we can continue to provide this important service in a way that is useful for readers.”

As for myself, I hope for a friendly but informative session, similar to the ones that were held in March for the Gazette.

How to participate

Here are the specifics: To participate in the Recorder forum, RSVP at recorder.com/Reader-Services/Community-Forum. A Zoom link will then be emailed to you.


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