Community Makes a Newspaper Strong

This month marks the second anniversary of my first Door County experience.

It was February 2012 when I first arrived on the peninsula in the passenger side of former Pulse reporter Myles Dannhausen Jr.’s car as he drove me from the Green Bay airport to the office in Baileys Harbor. There, I was interviewed by David Eliot and Madeline Harrison, the editors who would later offer me my first real job, and met the people who would become my first co-workers.

On the surface that two-day experience looked much different than the one I see while I’m typing away. There was no snow on the ground in 2012. There were different faces behind desks. There was that tight-chest, first-interview anxiety.

The weather, staff and nerves have changed, but not the meaty stuff. The Peninsula Pulse is still covering the county insightfully, with energetic reporting and a little humor, just like it was in 2012 and will in the future.

There will be one more change when that future comes. This is my last day at the Peninsula Pulse. On Wednesday, I will become the business reporter at the Traverse City Record Eagle, right across the lake. I will be closer to my Michigan family and taking another step toward the life and career I envision.

I will drive across the county line with new perspective on this place, which, as all the Pulse readers surely know, is like no other.

This is what you have taught me:

Quaint towns, limestone cliffs and hundreds of miles of shoreline make the peninsula special, but they’re not what make the community strong.

Door County can only be what you put into it. It is a good place to live, work and visit because you are determined to make it one.

I have met firefighters who risk their lives responding to emergencies, host fundraisers, write grants and design trucks. I’ve met parents who work hard at their jobs, work hard raising kids and still serve on boards and organize festivals. I’ve met people who juggle three jobs, but never hesitate to stuff a tip jar.

I have been part of a newspaper staff that asks an important question before every decision. What does Door County need from us?

The Peninsula Pulse strives to be your community newspaper. The staff wants to give you information you need, to bring the insight you crave, to tell stories that reflect your experience in our quirky county.

One of my first lessons in high school civics class was about journalism, and I keep these learned principles close. Newspapers and news media serve two main purposes: to give the community information it needs to make informed decisions, and to be a forum for the community to voice its opinions.

That’s where you come in. Fill us in when something’s fishy. Send us your pictures and poems. Write letters of thanks and letters of scorn. Tell us when we got something right, and more importantly, when we got something wrong.

Just like this community, the paper can only be what you put into it. I can’t wait to see it grow.