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Boonville Daily News - Boonville, MO
  • Ramblings from Ben: On complaints and story ideas

  • I'm daily amazed at some of the happenings encountered here at the Daily News. Local business write-ups are a favorite of mine. It allows me to interact with locals and learn more about the area. It's very simple. It provides a business with what is, essentially, free advertising. On the front page! Some are e...
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  • I'm daily amazed at some of the happenings encountered here at the Daily News. Local business write-ups are a favorite of mine. It allows me to interact with locals and learn more about the area. It's very simple. It provides a business with what is, essentially, free advertising. On the front page! Some are eager to oblige me, some are not. Some understand the nature of a free plug and others do not.
    Perhaps those I speak with, offering the free write-up, don't like my attitude and decline the opportunity for that reason. Some, for sure, are too busy to be bothered during a moment – and that's understandable. Running a business is time-consuming. I love being given the opportunity to have a hand in boosting the local economy. It's gratifying. It is what it is.
    Business aside, I'm becoming more and more aware that Boonville has volumes of personal stories, both historical and current, that are worthy of printing. I, however, am one person – consumed with rewriting press releases, attending local meetings, taking pictures, transcribing interviews, taking phone-calls and making them. There are stories in this town of under 10,000 that are slipping through the cracks. If you know of something that is print-worthy, call me. My number is 882-5335. My email is bdnben@gmail.com.
    If you have an interesting story to tell, or know of one, get in touch with me. I'll do you justice. Nothing but good feedback has come from those I've written up. Certainly, I've made some mistakes in my hard-news reporting – and for those, I've taken a few tongue-lashings.
    How's this for a story idea? Not long ago, a politician stepped into the office of the Daily News and sat for an interview with me. This person leaned across the table, tapped on it, and demanded that I turn my tape recorder off. The conversation delved into how area readers were fed up with our paper's coverage – and how nobody actually read the paper. Yet, the said individual, for reasons unknown, felt it necessary to be covered by us – even though nobody reads our paper, apparently.
    I leaned back across the table towards the individual, not away from. This person actually stuttered and stammered at my response, perhaps shocked that a 140 pounder, not yet 30 years old, was not intimidated in the least. I've included this paragraph in my column just to get the encounter off my chest. What a good story that would make. Alas, it's not the time for it, though.
    Boonville and surrounding cities, like every other corner of the world, are full of stories of redemption and overcoming. Tell me about them. Email me. Call me. If you have a complaint – and those often come in – get ahold of me and help me turn that into a story. If you don't like our coverage, stop complaining. Call me and tell me what to cover. Or go and start your own paper. Criticism I can take, but constructive criticism is better-placed.
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