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From the Publisher’s Desk


Dear Readers,

As the publisher of the West Plains Daily Quill and West Plains Gazette, I've often been told that I'm as fond of change as a cat is of a sudden bath. And truth be told, I generally agree. Change is hard, and for someone who prefers the comfort of the familiar, it can be downright daunting. However, as we all know, change is often the only constant, and in the world of local news, it's not just a constant but a necessity.

Looking at just the past 25 years, it's evident that our little corner of the news world has undergone transformations that were once unimaginable. At the West Plains Daily Quill, we've rolled out our fair share of changes this year, each one carefully considered and not taken lightly. Trust me, these decisions were made not to feed our egos, but because they were absolutely necessary for us to continue delivering the news that matters to our community.

Recently, someone made an interesting comment about the subjectivity of "news." What exactly constitutes news? Is a crime more newsworthy than a ribbon-cutting ceremony? Is an event just an event, or does it hold a deeper meaning for our community? These are the questions that keep us up at night, often leading to lively debates in the office that are only slightly less intense than our discussions on the best local barbecue.

We knew that not all our decisions would be met with applause. Change, after all, can be as uncomfortable as wearing a wool sweater in a heatwave. We understand and empathize with those who express frustrations about these changes. But let me be clear: every adjustment, every shift in our approach, stems from a deep commitment to this community, not from a lack of care or laziness.

During a recent conversation with Abby Hess, our brilliant Managing Editor (who, by the way, can spot a misplaced comma from a mile away), we pondered over the nostalgia for the "good old days" of the Quill. We realized that perhaps what people miss isn't just the way things were done, but the state of the world during those times. Change in our paper often mirrors change in our world, and that can be a tough pill to swallow.

I want to extend an open invitation for constructive dialogue with anyone in the community about any aspect of the Quill or West Plains Gazette. Your voices, opinions, and ideas are the lifeblood of our work. However, it's crucial to remember that behind every article, every decision, are people – people who work tirelessly out of love for their community. While we welcome criticism, personal attacks against my team are where I draw the line. They're dedicated professionals, not dartboards for expletives.

Let's remember that we're all in the same boat, navigating the often choppy and unknown waters of the future. As we steer through these changes, let's do so with the understanding that we're all part of this vibrant, dynamic community. We might not always agree on the course, but our shared destination is a stronger, more informed West Plains. So, let's grab our metaphorical oars, maybe a life jacket or two (just in case), and row this boat together. After all, as they say, teamwork makes the dream work – or at least gets the news out on time!

Warm Regards,
Chris Herbolsheimer
West Plains Daily Quill & West Plains Gazette