We recall from our high school days the question with which legendary Hillsboro High School FFA adviser Truman Diener would begin the chapter’s opening ritual: “Future Farmers of America, why are we here?” Many years have passed since then. This freshman FFAer followed his cow path into journalism instead of ag, and the organization itself shortened its official name to FFA to keep the gate open to non-farm students.
One thing hasn’t changed, though—and shouldn’t. Every once in a while, regardless of our career path or affiliations, “Why are we here?” is an important question to ask ourselves. With the passing of time, original intentions can easily fossilize into habit, tradition and routine. As the Free Press begins its 16th year, we want you to know what our intentions were then, and that we still hold to them today. Nothing has changed in a decade and a half. Yes, we will make mistakes frequently because we are imperfect people trying to function within the crush of never-ending deadlines. But if we’re falling short of our intentions, we want to know about it so we can make a course correction.
With that in mind, here is the mission statement we embraced when we launched the Free Press in 1998. It still expresses our deepest desire for our future. —DR
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OUR MISSION is to contribute to a stronger and more vibrant community by practicing and promoting the highest standards of journalism for the benefit of our readers and advertisers.
WE OWE OUR READERS…
• Content that is relevant to personal and community needs and interests.
• Writing that is clear, concise and lively.
• Reporting that is aggressive, thorough, fair and accurate.
• Features that are enlightening and entertaining.
• Commentary that is relevant and incisive.
• Design and graphics that enhance readability.
• Advertising that serves consumer needs and satisfaction.
• A forum for feedback and dialogue.
• Courteous consideration of concerns and criticism.
WE OWE OUR ADVERTISERS…
• Our commitment to their success and financial well-being.
• Editorial content that enhances reader involvement and loyalty.
• Promotions that focus on their products and services.
• Creative resources for advertising themes, content and design.
• Their final approval of ads to ensure accuracy and effectiveness.
• Assistance with advertising strategies beyond our print edition.
• A fair rate for services rendered.
• Prompt and accurate billing.