We are six months into the merged Star-Observer, with more pages, more regional content and a larger coverage area. What do readers think about the job that news, sales, print and online teams are doing? How might we improve going forward and, in turn, help our communities improve and grow?

The Star-Observer is looking for six or seven residents from each of our general coverage areas — Hudson, New Richmond, River Falls and communities in between — to serve on three readers’ boards. Each volunteer board will meet quarterly and then once or twice a year as a larger group.

[Get caught up on why the papers and website were merged: Editorial: Local news has value in print, online | Hudson, River Falls, New Richmond papers to merge; Digital memberships to launch in October ]

The first meeting will be at noon Feb. 26 in Hudson. New Richmond area residents will meet at noon March 25, and then the River Falls meeting will be at noon April 22.

Anne Jacobson, News Director
Anne Jacobson, News Director

These “equal opportunity” boards will be open to anyone regardless of race, gender, ethnic background, sexual orientation, etc. That means political parties, too. We will limit the size to a half dozen individuals and the meetings will last only an hour.

I see many benefits in forming these three readers boards within one greater board.

  • First, members will serve as a sounding board of public opinion. Many readers engage with us by telephone, email and letters to the editor. These boards will give an added, face-to-face dimension.

  • Second, members will gain a better understanding of how the Star-Observer and rivertowns.net operate. We hope that people will pass that knowledge along to family, friends and coworkers. Discussion topics will range from how the press and website work to how we select the stories readers see every day.

  • Third, board members will help us connect with our communities. They might share information, help us develop stories of interest, offer perspectives on a variety of topics and offer insight.

If you’re interested in serving on one of the boards, please send your name, address and telephone number to news@rivertowns.net. Please tell us a little about yourself, include a brief statement about why you would like to serve, and let us know for which community board you are applying.

We will be able to accommodate about a half dozen people at a time, but will keep all submissions for future opportunities.

If you have questions, please contact me at 651-301-7870. I want to hear from you whether it’s regarding the readers boards or if you simply have a comment, concern or news tip.