What does it mean that a story isn’t local enough?

Published 9:36 am Friday, June 10, 2016

The Tribune periodically prints an advertisement that says to contact them if you have an idea or story to tell. Last February, I submitted a true story about my grandson, who is 24 years old and living in Bend, Oregon. The Tribune took over three months to review the story before rejecting it. What does it mean to me, an 88-year-old resident of Albert Lea?

My grandson, Neil, is a college graduate from Boulder, Colorado, worked as an electrical engineer for two years, but wanted to do something adventurous while still young. He decided to hike the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail from the United States/Mexico border to the Canadian border. His journey began April 17, 2015, and finished six months later on Oct. 5, 2015, after walking more than 2,650 miles. Naturally, I was worried about his safety, but was elated when he reached his destination. When I told this story to friends and acquaintances, they were all amazed and several of them suggested that I should take this to the Tribune.

My grandson wrote a short summary of his experience and provided a few pictures and a trail map that I submitted to the Tribune. After six weeks of no response, I called the Tribune and was told that they thought it was “not local enough,” but they were continuing to review it. Another six weeks went by, and I had to call again to inquire about the status of the story. When the return call came I was told the story had been rejected, to my disappointment. My opinion is that even if no one ever heard of my grandson, there is a family connection and his journey is an interesting and positive story of a young man accomplishing a significant and challenging goal.

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What is the mission of the Tribune? What does it mean that stories are not local enough to be published? I believe that the readers of the Tribune have a diverse interest in a broad range of stories from local to national syndicated news. I believe many readers would enjoy a column that includes stories of family and friends (humorous to serious). I suggest that the Tribune consider this.


Marcie Severson

Albert Lea