Take time to listen to people, and the town will tell you
When I am going about my week, which mostly involves obtaining news to print on these pages and selling advertising, I encounter a lot of people. No one is ever at a loss for words, and I love that about Hammonton.
You want shy and reserved? Find another town. We don’t really do shy and reserved. People here are involved with a capital “I.”
During the last 25 years or so, I have had a front row seat to their opinions. They make them known to me, to Gazette Editor-in-Chief Gina Rullo and to the rest of our team in a number of ways.
Those ways include letters to the editor, texts, emails, phone calls and face-to-face encounters.
That last one can happen in the office, but it’s just as likely to happen anywhere in town. Pick a location, from a market to church to the post office to a school building to a funeral home to a restaurant or any other place. I’ve had a conversation about the town or some issue affecting the town in those specific locations and many more.
People know I am the publisher of the local newspaper. So they let me know about what’s going on in town—and their opinions about what’s going on in town. That’s true of our staff members as well.
Guess what? That’s the way it’s supposed to work.
In Hammonton, people care deeply about this place. They want the town to do well. They are boosters of the town, and they love it, warts and all, but they aren’t afraid to say it’s time to use the wart remover, either.
That dedication to the town—that sense of ownership by the local citizenry—is what sets Hammonton apart from other places. It’s what helped make this newspaper win statewide and national awards. We reflect the voices of this community on our pages. We hear them, and we let their voice be heard here.
It’s a grand achievement, one that fewer and fewer newspapers and media outlets in general can claim. The Hammonton Gazette is the people’s paper because we listen to you, every day. You are our guide each week as we put together the best weekly newspaper in the state of New Jersey, and a lot of other states. We thank you for letting us know what’s important to you, so we can let everyone else know, including our elected officials.
Now, this newspaper also has the ability to exercise discernment and discretion when covering the town as well as other area communities. Whether it’s the main sections like News, Opinion, Business & Finance, Our Town, Arts & Entertainment and Sports as well as our other sections and special sections, we take the time to review the information we’ve received and decide what will be in each week’s newspaper.
It’s an enormous task and an enormous responsibility. None of us take it lightly. The result is a handy digest of everything that happened in Hammonton and the surrounding area last week, readily available in the newspaper in your hands or the digital version on your screen.
We take pride in our work as journalists. Informing the public is a noble profession, one that our main staff members spent years educating themselves about in college, then honed after years (sometimes decades) of professional experience. The result is a newspaper that has engaged its readers because they know it is about them and the many things they care about in Hammonton and beyond its borders.
The Hammonton Gazette is the local newspaper of Hammonton.
More importantly, it’s the local newspaper of the people of Hammonton.
Gabriel J. Donio is the publisher of The Hammonton Gazette.