Community. For me, everything goes back to this one word that holds so many meanings. From the time we moved to Mahomet in 2002, this Mahomet community has grown and changed immensely. And the definition of community within the framework of who we are and where we are going has taken on many different definitions for me.
About a week ago when I was on vacation in South Dakota, Fred Kroner, longtime sports writer for the News Gazette and now editor of the Mahomet Citizen, approached me about sharing stories between our two publications. And in the moment of reading that email, my heart exploded with a resounding, “YES!” because this is what community is all about.
Business is a dog-eat-dog world. Business owners generally don’t encourage their patrons to visit or purchase from a similar business when the patron can find what they need within their storefront. But what I’ve learned is that there is enough goodness for everyone in this world.
I could be fearful and tell Fred, “No thank you. Things are good how they are.” But honestly, I’d just be saying that to him because I’d be fearful of losing readers or that the Citizen might overtake the Mahomet Daily. It’d come from our competitive nature to want to hoard all the goodness in one place at one time.
But I know that there are nearly 15,000 people in the Mahomet community. I know that there are probably 15,000 stories I could tell. And I also know that I do not have enough time or energy to tell all of them. There are plenty of stories and readers for two publications.
In fact, each reader in the Mahomet community can and should read two publications. Why? Because each publication has different insight, a different voice, a different outlook on our collective lives together. And there is so much value in that.
Just because the Mahomet Citizen grows does not mean consequently that the Mahomet Daily will not grow. And vice versa. Readers and writers from one publication do not take away from the other publication. There is enough for everyone. Goodness is infinite and abundant. It cannot be divided or manipulated.
In fact, when two good entities get together usually the goodness multiplies and grows.
I respect and value Fred Kroner and our weekly paper, the Mahomet Citizen. Personally, I love and adore print. I have seen how enthusiastic he is about sharing Mahomet’s stories and providing our community with a quality publication. He is working so hard (maybe even harder than I am). And I so admire that.
So, each week he will write a story for the Mahomet Daily, and I will publish it on the website. That story will also appear in the Mahomet Citizen, along with many other wonderful stories. And, each week, I will write a story for the Mahomet Citizen. That story will also appear in the Mahomet Daily.
Instead of walking into this partnership with fear, I am walking into this partnership with relief and excitement. When I purchased the Mahomet Daily for years ago, this is what I wanted. I wanted to be in partnership. Because that is how we build community: when two people, organizations or businesses come together to say, “how can we make our product better in order to better those lives around us?”
I know that is what this partnership will do.