So, for those of you who have been following the Minot Voice, something you might not know about me is that I’m a sailor. And if you’ve got no experience with sailors, let me describe our breed. We’re calm, industrious folk who make the most of our lot, and we’re acutely aware of the environment.
And as a sailor, there’s something I noticed recently about the environment in Minot. It was a wind change. You’re probably wondering why that means anything, but in a sailor’s world, a wind change can be everything. I mean everything. For a sailor, a wind change is the difference between getting where you want to go and toiling — sometimes in vain — for an unforeseeable future.
I noticed Minot’s wind change at the last City Council meeting when we got a report from our new City Manager that was dramatically different-in-a-good-way than anything I’ve heard in several years of watching local government. There was a new feel to the way the City was talking to us; it was subtle but palpable for those finely tuned to our civic environment.
But today, we got a dramatic confirmation of what I’ve previously suspected. One of the bigger boats on the Minot water — The Minot Daily News — caught a sniff of the new wind, and they turned their ship. And in the sailboat race toward Minot’s future, it’s a big deal.
Allow me to depart from my metaphorical regatta to explain.
With this local issues experiment that is The Minot Voice, I’ve theorized that local media is critical to a healthy community and a successful, trusted local government. But as a guy with a blog (I’m realistic about the site’s current circumstance and influence), I’m also aware that my impact as a local media source is limited.
Add that to the fact that our audience here is small, and my continuous and contentious positions on local issues mean my voice here is increasingly marginalized. To the powers that be, I’m just that crazy guy who’s always advocating for something. Put another way, I’ve been heard from often enough on local issues that my commentary is becoming little more than background noise.
I understand and accept that reality.
That’s why today’s editorial from Mr. Sasser at the Minot Daily is such a big deal. In the doldrums of change, it’s a signal through the fleet that it’s time for a new direction. And Minot’s most important news source chose to set us on an ambitious, idealistic course.
So, kudos to Mr. Sasser and the whole team at The Minot Daily News. Welcome to the race! Keep up the good work and keep us pointed as high as we can go.
And please stay tuned to The Minot Voice, the site has been quiet, but in anticipation for more wind, we’ve been retooling on the fly. We’re in the process of hoisting new sail and bringing crew aboard; we hope to show you evidence of both soon.