Editorial By Wayne Dickson January 2017
As I remember it, when I was younger I could do everything: in a single day, I could teach two classes, attended two committee meetings, listen to a concert in Elizabeth Hall, and still have time to play a competitive tennis match. (Don’t quibble! Those are my “alternative facts.”)
I’m no longer that person, and I’m facing a much heavier task. That’s why I’m so pleased to introduce Dana Dunmire and Sandy Colón as my new associates. You’ll hear more about them elsewhere but for now let me say only that Dana will be helping me with the newsletter and Sandy will be taking on Digital Communications, including the website and the membership/mailing list.
These women are well educated and trained, impressively experienced, capable, hardworking, and deeply conscientious. I for one am very glad that they’ve come to Volusia County.
Plans being made right now by the Communications Committee are based on the following principles:
- The better we get to know one another, the more likely it is that we will be able to present a combined front as Volusia County Democrats and to stand shoulder by shoulder in concerted effort.
- Working harder is good. Working both harder and smarter is even better
- It’s a terrible thing to waste or handicap human resources through unnecessarily redundant projects.
It might not be apparent at first sight, but trust me: the tasks of designing, writing or collecting content, laying it out, editing and proofreading, managing production and distribution, etc. of a newsletter or website can be seriously time consuming and energy draining. To expect every club and caucus in our district to produce its own professional looking newsletter and website is unrealistic. Even if it were possible, it would be incredibly wasteful of time, talent, and effort.
We (the DEC leadership and especially the Communications Committee) propose to do it smarter. We will produce a single combined newsletter. We handle the design, production, and distribution for everyone. Any of our constituent organizations that wishes will have its own section of the newsletter. They will need only to provide the content, and the content will be controlled by them and not by us.
The operative phrase there is “any… that wishes.” What’s coming down from the top is not coercion but opportunity. Any club or caucus that wishes to go it alone can, of course, do that. No one has to contribute content to the combined newsletter or website. However, within the constraints of design standards and common sense, each organization that wishes to participate will have full control of the content appearing in its particular section of the newsletter or website.
We will edit whatever content comes in for consistency with legality and overall policy, naturally; and we will provide copyediting and proofreading for everyone. For those who request it, we will take the raw content you provide and write it up for you in appropriate form.
We are also planning to make the newsletter and the website as complementary as possible. For example, we will publish back issues of every newsletter we can find on the website. The newsletter comes out just once a month, so it will focus on unhurried reflective features, reports, opinion pieces, etc. Because it can be updated relatively quickly, the website will provide – in addition to its core permanent content – updates, announcements, new opportunities, “breaking news,” etc.