Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Karla Pomeroy

Karla's Kolumn

The ‘way to know’ is through newspapers


October 1, 2016

Welcome to National Newspaper Week 2016, Oct. 2-8.

This year’s theme is “Way to Know!” as a way to promote the role of newspapers as the leading provider of news, whether it be in print, online or in palms via mobile devices. And that’s exactly what our role is as newspapers – to report the news. Not to report rumors, or social media gossip and complaints, but the actual, factual news.

Reporting the news means reporting the good, the bad and the ugly. It means reporting on South Side Elementary earning the National Blue Ribbon Award, but it also means reporting about assaults and drug crimes. It means reporting on winning seasons and losing seasons. It’s about reporting and photographing community events like today’s great pumpkin weigh-off, and chronicling barbecues and bluegrass festivals, parades, fairs and more.

But a newspapers role is more than just reporting on the highs and lows of a community. A newspaper, as an advocate of the First Amendment, is also a watchdog for the community. In taking on that role, that’s why we try and attend as many meetings of the major government boards as we can — city and town councils, county commissioners, solid waste district, joint powers board, planning commissions, school boards and hospital board.

Over the years I’ve covered a number of boards and I’ve had to educate boards on the Wyoming Open Meetings Act, what you can and cannot go into an executive session for, and more recently, with a change in 2013, the fact that the boards must state in a motion the reason for an executive session.

I’ve educated boards on proper protocol for special meetings, such as once an agenda is set it can’t be changed, unlike a regular meeting where the agenda can be changed.

Since coming to the Daily News a year and a half ago, I’ve educated, or had my reporters educate, boards on similar issues. We’ve also had some tougher issues. When the Worland City Council was working to appoint a new council member we lobbied to ensure that the appointment was open process including the interviews and the final council vote approving the appointment.

Most recently, we addressed an issue with the Ten Sleep school board regarding the designation of the official newspaper. It wasn’t that we had anything against the newspaper they selected. What those two issues, and the previous issues I’ve mentioned, have in common is that newspapers strive to make sure things are done right, that they are done in the open so the public knows what’s going on.

Transparency has been a word thrown around a lot during the presidential campaigns the past two years. Newspapers strive to help or ensure government agencies are transparent.

I was told years ago something that I’ve reminded many boards and councils, “You are conducting public business so it should be conducted in public.”

Governing bodies need to follow statute and as a newspaper we strive to ensure that they do.

Several years ago there was a survey throughout the state regarding public records. Newspapers across the state enlisted average citizens to ask for public records. I remember in one instance in Basin the citizen was asked if this was for the newspaper. Public records are public, which means they are not just for the newspaper but any citizen can request and view those records, whether it’s budgets, meeting minutes, agendas, court records, marriages, divorces and more. That was one of the purposes of the survey to remind the public that those are your records.

So during National Newspaper Week, I hope you come to the Daily News for your source of local news and sports, with the occasional Wyoming and national news thrown in. And, if you have an idea for a story, a news tip, or if there’s something you’d like to see us cover, I’m open to hearing about it, just email me at, or give me a call at 307-347-3241.

And remember, newspapers, especially community newspapers like the Daily News, are the best “way to know” what’s going on in your community.


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2017