We welcome your feedback
Feedback is important for improvement. When trusted friends or family members offer “constructive criticism” on personal behavior, it may not be enjoyable, but it does make us better people.
For editors, there are only a few ways to get feedback. Of course, letters to the editor are a good way. Metro Lutheran has seen a significant increase in the number of letters received. Some point out factual errors (usually related to Augustana College in Rock Island and Augustana College in Sioux Falls; what’s the deal with that: Weren’t there enough good Lutheran words that they could have different names?). Some are differences of opinion with commentary writers, including the editor. And some address issues not covered in the pages.
Whereas two years ago most letters dealt with issues of sexuality, today readers are writing on a wide array of topics. I truly do appreciate the feedback offered by readers; several “responders” have become friends.
The Associated Church Press (ACP) also provides feedback. ACP presents awards for certain categories pertaining to newspapers — features, news stories, editorial content, graphic design, websites, and more. This year Metro Lutheran won an award for a news story about the Lutheran response to the earthquake in Haiti (“Lutherans respond to the dire need of Haitians,” March 2010, pages 22-23).
And then there’s the feedback that pays the bills
The other means of feedback that this editor receives is response to fundraising letters. Unlike most newspapers, Metro Lutheran does not charge readers for the news service. (It is like Minnesota Public Radio in that regard, I guess.) Metro Lutheran’s only sources of income are advertising income and contributions from readers — both individuals and congregations.
About the time readers receive the June issue of Metro Lutheran, many will receive a fundraising letter. Although Metro Lutheran is not in economic crisis, reader response in the form of contributions is essential to the newspaper’s survival. If you are reading this column, but didn’t receive the letter, please consider sending Metro Lutheran a donation.
We could really use the feedback!