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We Really Do Try

September 8, 2012
By HEATHER ZIEGLER Associate City Editor , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

I knocked St. Joseph's head off this week and things went downhill from there. I accidentally tipped over the statue of the Holy Family that sits on my desk at work. Miraculously only Joseph's head fell victim from the fall to the floor. I plan to glue it back in place this weekend and hope all is forgiven for my sin.

We all make mistakes. If not, then erasers, White Out and backspace keys would be obsolete. Utility companies are constantly "adjusting" our monthly bills to reflect an actual reading versus estimated use of gas, water or electricity.

Every news outlet has a "correction" policy in an effort to repair a mistake from a named spelled incorrectly or a headline out of whack. In this newspaper office, we strive for perfection. To do that we depend on a lot of people to provide us with facts that we can check and recheck.

Every week, we crank out a boat load of tidbits, stories, photographs, scores, statistics and more, all involving the kids who grace the seats of our public and private schools and the teachers who stand at the head of the classrooms..

We champion the academic heroes - both students and teachers - whenever we can. We love good news about test scores, winning speech teams and band tournaments. We do our best to get the names spelled correctly for the scrapbooks. The drama clubs and special interest groups make the paper when newsworthy. We cover homecoming parades, spelling bees, graduations and sporting events.

We would be kidding ourselves to believe we can send a reporter to every event at every school in the Northern Panhandle and East Ohio. With the number of schools in our valley, we could keep 100 reporters busy all the time just covering education, but we all know that is not realistic.

If you believe rivalries only exist on the fields of our Ohio Valley schools, think again. Each week our sports department performs a small miracle during football season. They manage to report on the big games and even the smaller matchups with a genuine effort to educate our readers. That's just the football games. Then there's soccer, volleyball, track, tennis, hockey ... well, you get the picture. In all honesty, we try to do the best job we can at reporting all these events with the help of the athletic directors, coaches and others who call in sports scores or let us know of an interesting event.

Sometimes readers call to say we give too much press to - fill- in-the-blank - school. It's no secret that we report each time when Wheeling Park High School wins another state speech tournament. We also let you know when a student at Wheeling Central performs well on the gridiron. And if a kid from Cameron or John Marshall is spotlighted for a particular honor, we also report that.

Despite our best college try to balance our coverage, sometimes we still get our heads knocked off.

Heather Ziegler can be reached via email at ziegler@theintelligencer. net.

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