By MICHAEL RODRIGUEZ
The San Benito News closed 2010 a variable juggernaut in coverage, breaking stories that made headlines all over the Valley, including Mayor Joe H. Hernandez’s involuntary forfeiture of office due to owing back taxes, the discovery of a felony conviction in now-former elementary school principal Enrique Homero Murillo, and the heroics of a teenage boy who helped apprehend a man accused of inappropriately touching a child.
I’d be lying if I said we didn’t have our struggles like any other newspaper, but I have no reservations in recalling 2010 as a banner year for us here at the News. This means it was also a good one for you, the readers, who rely on us to keep you informed.
With that, I thought it’d be interesting to throw some numbers around and see just how productive a year it’s been. Of 104 issues we printed in 2010, the News published about 621 local stories. That’s local … not from the Associated Press or national news. To average, that’s nearly six local stories per issue not counting the press releases we publish that are submitted by the local school district and city.
In 2011 we hope to increase our coverage as part of our ongoing efforts to continue providing readers with up-to-date information on all the latest news in San Benito, not to mention advertisement opportunities that the City of San Benito Economic Development Corporation has already taken advantage of by partnering with us to print their monthly “Shop San Benito” tabloid.
Meanwhile, our revamped website, sbnewspaper.com, is enjoying an influx of visitors, many of whom are already leaving positive comments on the website with glowing reviews on our design. Then there’s our E-Edition, a convenient online reading experience that utilizes the web to display the newspaper as intended, in page-by-page view. And don’t forget that it’s free for the next two months or so. That’s always nice.
Our sports page has steadily improved since we began working with Joe Bowling. The Greyhound football commentator for the school district’s KSBG-TV 17 shares airtime with Mario Medrano and is known for his quick analysis. For the News he provides a weekly sports column and in-depth coverage on everything San Benito athletics, from grade school level sporting events to varsity. Realizing the magnitude in which San Benitians crave local sports, trust me when I say that we have much more planned this year.
But if there should be one thing I’ll fervently stake a claim to in this space, it’s the fact that we’ll continue to feature citizens prominent in the community for touching the lives of those around them. Of all the news we broke in 2010 and of all the change this little newspaper helped instigate in the community, it was our stories on Janet Mata, the San Benito teen who graduated from high school despite a severely deteriorating health condition, and Bob Haines, a survivor of the Bataan Death March who made the most of his life following his terrible ordeal, that I was most proud of.
Tales of the human condition can often be the only print some will stomach; 2010 was the year that taught me why. I hope 2011 is the year we perpetuate it … still with a healthy dose of hard news, of course.
For more on this story, pick up a copy of the Jan. 2 edition of the San Benito News. Or view our E-Edition by clicking here.