One of the biggest disappointments about running a hyperlocal blog is the problem of coverage. These things are a labor of love (and frustration) and you simply can’t write about everything that you’d like.
There have been a few instances where I wanted to attend a meeting or event and simply didn’t have the time. I console myself that the Tampa Tribune’s Billy Townsend or a (formerly Lakeland) Ledger reporter will be there.
Sometimes, I’ll have an idea for a story and simply not get to it. If I find the story on another blog or in the local media…I’m happy. The idea is to get the story out. It usually doesn’t matter who writes it up.
Except in the case of Lakeland writers Lonnie Brown and Ted Hoffman. Both work for local media. Brown for the __ Ledger and Hoffman for the Tampa Tribune. They’re both writing interesting, informative, and often hilarious columns for their respective papers. They’re the kind of writers you open the paper to find or click first to display. I look forward to reading their thoughts on any subject.
Brown writes the exploits of the Coffee Guzzlers Club. The “are they really there?” group of friends who meet and discuss the latest in Lakeland news. Oh, they’ll talk a bit about things from outside our borders on occasion. I do believe I remember a particularly good column about some project in Winter Haven.
This past week Brown reminded me I had completely forgot to write anything about Lakeland’s new eLibrary. His column is much better than what I would have written.
(Aside to the Ledger’s Online Operation’s Director: Dear Sir. May we please have quick links to all of a reporter’s output? Yours sincerely, the Last “Lakeland” Ledger Hold Out.)
Over at the Polk County News Blog Ted Hoffman has been writing a humorous, thought-provoking, and literate column for a couple months. Or more. He settled in so quickly it seems like he’s been writing as long as I have.
Hoffman’s latest entry was one of his most serious, “Finding Ourselves In The Wake Of 9/11’s Anniversary:”
I brought that grim day back to me through the time machine of film. I watched Paul Greengrass’ shattering, never gratuitous “United 93” and, as I did six years before, wept. I wept with futility, and finally with gratitude and pride. — Ted Hoffman
You’ll have to search the PCNB archives to find Hoffman’s work. It’s well worth the trouble. I do hope the Trib redesigns soon. Their site is one of the worst current news sites on line.
Seek out Brown and Hoffman. Write their editors and demand they get raises. I’m sure they’d appreciate he support.