|Iggy has a nose for the news - not just catnip!|
I still cringe when I think of it - the single issue, hand printed neighborhood newspaper published by me and my sisters. It headlined, "Meen People Who Woodn't Buy From Us!!" Fund raising merchandise was foisted upon us by the good sisters of our elementary school with a frequency that made neighbors audibly groan at the glimpse of a pleated plaid skirt on the front porches of their homes. Our edition painstakingly carbon copied addresses of the latest round of non-buying offenders. Mother read our "news" with a bemused expression; she would have been mortified to know that carefully folded copies were left on the doorsteps of every house in our territory. Beneath the fold was my crayoned illustration of "Spooky," Mrs. Shold's new kitten. The accompanying story welcomed him warmly into the neighborhood. And so there it was - in one tidy issue - "all the news...fit to print!"
Today, our family newspaper doesn't call out "meen people." Its main function is to serve as a "time's-running-out" educational experience for grandchildren, mainly because printed versions of daily news will probably be something that my great grandchildren view only behind glass museum cases. "Poor great grandma," they'll likely sigh, "she had to turn those clumsy, big and inky pages all by hand!"
We're starting out slowly - one or two-pagers on a sporadic schedule. Brielle's masthead was voted the best, so we'll use it for now. Each issue has dedicated space for the latest flashes from each of our four individual families. The kids brainstorm ideas and dictate stories to fill it and are encouraged to be alert for report-able breaking news. For now, it's grandma who cobbles everything together, adding photos as needed. I'm also setting the layout, printing final editions and handling distribution. The long term goal, of course, is to hand these tasks over to the kids. My vision is that of an enthusiastic team of cousins honing a multitude of journalistic skills: observing, interviewing, composing, editing, designing, illustrating, photographing, typesetting, printing and distributing. Most of the latter will probably be done electronically, but I'm an old fashioned, traditional soul. I want to find my copies outside, on my doorstep, the same way I delivered my first effort to a chagrined audience some 55-ish years ago!