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  • Last modified 1598 days ago (July 31, 2014)

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What really sells newspapers

Newspaper gurus probably think that if one is in charge of an opinion column, one should have a fresh topic about which to preach every week. I am nowhere close to even being a journalism student, much less a guru of newspaper, policy so I am going to slide by that rule once again.

I enjoy being able to share feedback about my opinion columns with all six of my regular readers, and I think they like being a part of that inner circle of knowledge. So kick back here and let me tell you how the issue we published last week played out on the information scale.

The most astounding thing was we sold out of Peabody Gazette-Bulletins at Peabody Market on Friday! Yes, it is true. I wandered in there Sunday to buy a few things and noticed the wire rack that was supposed to hold the Peabody newspaper was empty. While in line at the check-out counter, I tried to remember what our staff might have written that would have caused such a buying frenzy. I could not think of a thing.

I asked the clerk on duty and she said, “The article about the marijuana.” I told her I was a bit confused as the story said only that Marion County Sheriff Rob Craft was not saying much of anything about the case. There was not much to read, in my most humble opinion. However, the store manager walked by about that time and agreed that there was a great deal of interest in the story about the 2,000-plus marijuana plants growing southeast of town that had been confiscated the week before.

Well, I’ll be. Who would have thought it? When the page was being put together before publication I thought the picture of the trailer-load of marijuana being hauled off for burning was an attention-getter. However, it never occurred to me that the story and headline would attract enough attention to clear the rack of every issue. The only thing I can think is that there must be a sizeable contingent of area residents who just might be a bit concerned about who would be named in a Marion County drug bust story.

Truly, the sheriff is not saying anything to the press, but just in case my six regular readers or any other PGB readers have information about individuals exhibiting suspicious behavior, Sheriff Rob Craft is in the phone book and he would love to hear from you!

Now that would be a headline.

— SUSAN MARSHALL

Last modified July 31, 2014

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