Editor’s letter: On calendar listings

  • In addition to knowing infinitely more about music, Chris Goudreau stands  an entire foot taller than me. 

Published: 10/25/2018 3:43:30 PM

Hello, friends

Let’s talk about the calendar, shall we?

A few weeks ago, a woman came to the newsroom demanding to speak with me about the calendar in Hampshire Life: She didn’t just want her events listed, she wanted feature stories written about them, and she was pissed. She had other complaints about the calendar — and she’s certainly not the only one — but something she said sounded off to me.

“Do you read the paper?” I asked.

She looked at the ground. And when she left, asked if she could take a free copy with her.

The calendar comes together in a complicated dance that involves several people and a ton of small and important details. Depending on the week, calendar listings run between some 200 and 400 inches in total, and during the last two weeks, in an effort to accommodate all the listings we received in the space that we have, we cut all the images we normally use to bring beauty to much of Hampshire Life. I don’t like to cut calendar photos, because they help draw readers into listings — for performances, artwork and other things better served by images than by words. We also held the Photo Gallery in one issue and the Arts and Exhibits page in another. As I write this letter, I’m trying to decide what to hold this week: a wonderful profile of a working artist or an image that helps us see the place where we live in a new way.

There was a time when music venues didn’t even have to submit upcoming performances because we would, each week, dutifully visit their websites and collect all the relevant details.

But things have changed. Going forward, there may be some changes in how we produce the calendar, and we’re considering moving Arts and Exhibits to the Gazette’s Thursday Arts section to ensure that it runs in its entirety.

Which is all to say, The Daily Hampshire Gazette has been covering community events since 1786, and we are fiercely proud to be one of the country’s oldest newspapers. We are not, however, immune to the challenges affecting the newspaper industry at large.

So if you care about your calendar listings and community news in general, I hope you’ll subscribe (if you don’t already) and encourage your friends to do the same. As our Editor-in-chief Brooke Hauser says, local journalism is just as essential as local food.

Chris Goudreau will now be spearheading the calendar. Please be kind to him. He’s already responsible for many things here. And please use gazettenet.com/calendar to submit all events. We care about you and your listings, and those little things help a lot.




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