2009-09-13 / Viewpoints

Our Views

‘The more things change…’
By Keith Salisbury Editor

“The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

It’s an old adage. Some might even call it a cliché. But like all the great adages, it has its ring of truth

Many of you have noticed over the past few weeks that the Tri-County Citizen has been getting a new look. These changes have been in the works for awhile. In fact, some, like our headers, have been waiting for their appearance since last winter. When the Citizen became part of JAMS Media in July, we decided the time was right to implement the changes.

New Owner. New Press. New Look.

New headers were just the start. We came up with a new masthead for the front page. It was a long, well-thought-out process. We’ve been changing up some type styles to give some of our standing features a new look. And last week we shifted to our new format -- a shorter page that actually seems easier to read and color throughout the paper.

Already, I have received favorable reviews from some of our readers. And we’re excited about this new direction for the Citizen. But be patient with us. We’re not done yet. We’re still in the process of fine-tuning the look of the paper, and we think you’re really going to like our finished version.

But the look of the paper isn’t the only thing that’s changing.

As our owner melds the former “Lapeer Group” -- that cluster of papers we became associated with when the Citizen was sold to 21st Century Newspapers way back in 2001 -- with his already-established View Newspapers in the Lapeer and Genesee County areas, you’re going to see new branding and a new identity for our collection of publications.

Some of you are already aware we’re in the process of changing our email addresses. Soon we will be unveiling our new, updated website. I’ve been working with the test version over the last few days, and I think you’re going to be pleasantly surprised. Watch upcoming issues of the Citizen for the big announcement when it goes live.

I first came to work at the Citizen way back in August 1989, just in time for the Blueberry Festival, the Old Gas Tractor Show, four schools worth of fall sports programs, and football previews. I was working in composition and news/sports writing way back then. We were a locally owned newspaper on our own, covering a big area. We had a dedicated staff who worked hard to put out a paper, and we got along like a family. Tempers flared. Hugs were given. Sometimes we got along. Sometimes we didn’t. Like I said, a family.

We used a mongrel compilation of equipment, and sometimes we had to be good at repair. We developed our own film and made our own halftones (the process which allows photos to be printed in a newspaper), laid the newspaper out on light tables with hot wax, and worked ridiculously long hours. Full color photos and ads were only a dream. But we loved it, and we were good at it.

Now everything’s done with computers and digital cameras. Where I used to spend hours in the darkroom developing film, making prints and then making halftones, we now spend just a couple of hours downloading our pictures, selecting the ones we want to use, and then getting them ready. And usually for part of the process we can also be doing something else, known as multi-tasking.

Back then, when we were done with the paper, at 4 or 5 a.m., someone had to physically drive the pages to the press.

Now pages are done on a computer, and when they’re completed they’re sent to the press over the internet. The paper is now usually on the press before I’m even home and in bed. So much has changed since 1989, and especially in the last 10 years, that sometimes it seems mind-boggling.

But for all the changes at the Citizen, some things haven’t changed. We’re still committed to providing you coverage of what’s going on in our communities, and providing coverage of our four area schools -- Chesaning, Montrose, New Lothrop and St. Charles -- and their sports teams. That was the legacy Dan Lea started way back in 1983, and that’s a legacy we’re still trying to maintain today.

Like before, we have a caring, dedicated team of professionals here making sure you get your Citizen each week. And while the people are different, we’re still a family. We have our tears, our triumphs and our disagreements, but we often jokingly refer to each other as “siblings.”

Little did I expect, when I joined the team “way back when” that one day I would be the editor of the Citizen. Back in ‘89, the idea was a terrifying one. Sometimes it still is. But sometimes I also find myself wondering what the next 20 years will bring, and whether I’ll be around to see the Citizen celebrate its 50th anniversary.

.…the more things stay the same.

Return to top

Copyright © 2009-2018 Tri-County Citizen, All Rights Reserved