It's been a long time since this column has appeared, and I have our readers to thank for it.
That's because we needed extra space over the past several Thursdays to make room for the heavy volume of election-related letters to the editor. This year's election cycle generated substantial interest, and it wasn't just for the congressional race. Our readers touched on a wide variety of races and candidates in their submissions, an encouraging sign about civic engagement in our community.
In a recent column, I had touched on how we're seeing a steady increase in reader letter submissions. And while there are many reasons for this trend, I believe a big factor in the participation related to the local elections this year was the scope and quality of coverage done by the staff here at The Citizen and auburnpub.com.
We are a small newsroom in a small community, but I don't think you'll find any media outlet in this region that did a more thorough and accurate job of covering municipal, state and congressional races over the past several months.
A huge credit for that goes to Robert Harding, our state politics reporter who also runs our website. I saw some terrific commentary about Robert's work on social media in recent weeks, and I was glad to see readers recognize the work he does and its importance. I'm amazed at the energy he brings to the job each day, and the thoughtfulness that goes into the work he does. This newspaper is fortunate to have him, for sure, but I'd add that this community is lucky to have a journalist of his quality providing valuable information about the men and women we elect to office.
I'm also full of pride in the entire newsroom team for the efforts put in to cover this election. We believe strongly in our responsibility to give readers a robust supply of information on the candidate seeking office, from their backgrounds and experience, to what motivates them and where they stand on key issues.
The work goes beyond news articles. We work with Cayuga Community College to hold candidate debates, and post the full videos of those programs at our website so readers can access them anytime. And we aim to provide photojournalism that captures the magnitude, emotion and civic spirit of democracy in action in the community.
One of my duties over the course of the past dozen years has been to grab one of the first election results papers off the press, usually around 1 a.m., and take a final quick read to make sure it's ready to go out the door. And I can honestly say that every night I've done this over that time, I walk out of our pressroom with a profound sense of good fortune to be a part of this team.
Veterans Day material for students
Many of our area schools do terrific educational programming to mark Veterans Day, and we try to provide coverage of some of those efforts every year. We also try to provide some content that can help in those efforts to teach students about this important national holiday.
One example of that this year can be found at auburnpub.com, where we've posted a special Veterans Day feature at our Newspapers in Education Blog. You can point your browser directly to auburnpub.com/nie_blog or click on the blogs links either toward the bottom of the homepage or in the top left pop-up menu.
In addition, on Sunday, the print edition will have a special Veterans Day section that's being produced by our advertising department.