Back to work

Published 11:36 am Saturday, April 12, 2014

Friends, let’s be honest. When it comes to our jobs, aren’t some weeks just better than others? Of course they are. And without question, this week at The Tidewater News was one of the better ones. Why, you may ask? Well, if by any chance you didn’t see the headline on Wednesday’s edition (the newsroom wanted to make sure you knew) or have not yet otherwise heard, your hometown newspaper picked up a little hardware at last Saturday’s Virginia Press Association awards banquet. There’s no doubt that showing up for work on Monday is a little easier right after the VPA names you the best overall newspaper out of the two dozen or so we competed against. And to have a year’s worth of hard work validated by a group of your peers is a most satisfying experience, indeed.

But the reality is, those awards were based on our work in the year 2013. And since the calendar flipped to 2014 about three and a half months ago, the only thing that will matter to the VPA and, more importantly, our readers, is, what have we done for you lately? So on Monday morning after the plaque was hung on the wall, the only thing left for our staff to do was go back to work.

And figure out how to get better.

There’s no doubt that the entire staff of The Tidewater News takes tremendous pride in winning awards. And make no mistake; we want to win again next year. But the great thing that happens when we work hard to produce an award-winning newspaper is that you, our readers, are given a much better product. And that, my friends, is what we are really all about.

So, not content to sit on our laurels, we are actively working on ways to improve our product, your local newspaper. And we want your help.

Many of you who subscribe to our daily email newsletter or follow us on Facebook may already be aware that we have put out a new reader survey. It’s an Internet-based survey that will allow us to gather specific information about your reading preferences, as well as provide you with the opportunity to share feedback on what we do well and, perhaps more importantly, what we don’t do well. The survey is brief and it shouldn’t take but a couple minutes of your time. And as if helping us to improve the newspaper isn’t motivation enough, each person who goes online to take the survey will be registered for a chance to win a $100 gift card. Dangling a carrot never hurt.

Participating in the survey is easy. Simply click here. You will be directly connected to the survey, which will be available through the end of this month. Please take a moment to participate, and please give us your honest feedback. We want your newspaper to be the best it can be, as judged by our readers, not just the VPA.

Tony Clark is publisher of The Tidewater News, is very proud of his hardworking staff but convinced that the newspaper can be even better. His email is