Commentary

Tell me what you’re thinking

Bob Hulteen

Every month I get to offer you opinions and ideas that are on my mind. Sometimes that responsibility is fun, sometimes it is more challenging.

I wish there were more ways for me to hear about what you are thinking. True, Metro Lutheran receives a half-dozen to a dozen letters to the editor each month. But, normally those letters are reactive to opinion articles from the previous issue. I appreciate deeply every letter I receive and encourage more readers to consider adding your voice to the discussion in this way.

And, for those of you on Facebook, there is a comment section after each article I post. Once in a while a good discussion arises there. Again, I do hear a little feedback.

But, often I wonder what it is that readers like about the paper. I also wonder what is “liked less.”

Of course, people’s responses are never simple. I recently had a conversation with two regular readers. One said he first turns to the “Caught Reading” page to see if he knows any of the travelers, or if he has been to any of the locations pictured. The other reader said she “hated” that page. “It makes Metro Lutheran look like a small-town newspaper,” I believe she said.

(I like small-town newspapers, myself; I even started my journalistic career at one, the Mandan News. So that argument doesn’t work with me.)

What do you like best?

I would like to know what you, the readers, think. How do you use Metro Lutheran? Do you read every page? Do you hunt for a particular section? Are you waiting to hear news from the conventions of the various church bodies?

Or, is the calendar page the only page you glance at? (I guess I will never know the answer to that, since you won’t be reading this if you only look at that page.)

Have you ever used the classified ads? Do you keep track of the display ads from the advertisers who underwrite almost two-thirds of the cost of the newspaper? (You, the readers, through your contributions provide the remainder of the budget.)

There is no “News Digest” in this issue. Did you miss it? Or, with the high level of access to the Internet, do you routinely skip it because you know most of it already and there are too many words on that page?

Now is the time for just such a voice

I still believe that there is a benefit to having a Lutheran news service that is independent and pan-Lutheran. In fact, I think it is more important now than any time since the 1960s.

Do you agree? Does Metro Lutheran serve a purpose that is important to you or to people you know? If not, is there something the staff and board of Metro Lutheran could do that would be more valuable?

Please feel free to send me a letter (“to the editor” or otherwise) at Metro Lutheran, ATTN: Bob Hulteen, 122 West Franklin Avenue, Suite 206, Minneapolis, MN 55404, or an email at editor@metro lutheran.org. Tell me what you would like to see more of, or less of.

After all, Metro Lutheran really is your paper.

Tags: , , ,