Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Giving field reporters a whole new meaning

In most newspaper operations, the home office is where the bulk of the reporting staff is located.

But the Capital Press is not the typical newspaper operation.

Many newspapers cover a place -- a city or a county or in some cases a state. They may have some "bureau" offices that cover secondary markets of interest outside their home territory, but the bureaus supplement the main operation.

Capital Press covers an industry and a way of life, agriculture, in four states. From the Canadian to the Mexican borders, from the Pacific Coast to the intermountain West, our staff works to bring news on hundreds of commodities, all manner of livestock, international trade and issues large and small home to the farm, ranch, vineyard, nursery, implement dealership and farmer's market to the people who need it.

Our staff is not centrally located. Most of our news staff is spread out in rural communities and farming areas in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and California. Our office mailing address is Salem, Ore., but the Capital Press newspaper and website would not exist without a cadre of people who live and work far from Salem.

But for the next two days, our editorial staff is gathering at the "home base" in Salem to conduct some training, do some planning and talk about issues of common interest in carrying out our mission to remain the most important source of information for agriculture news on the West Coast.

So, to the bulk of the Capital Press staff, who makes the newspapers production of four separate editions each week, I say welcome -- to the Salem bureau. I hope you enjoy your stay until you can return to our various home offices from Washington's Inland Empire to California's San Joaquin Valley, from Idaho's Treasure Valley to Oregon's Rogue River Valley and all the mountains, plains and valleys in between.

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