Next year’s top stories


Family Christmas letters range from “missives proclaiming the joy of a $5,000 pool table to a week-by-week recounting of children’s activities,” reports MSNBC, with a few bad-news letters telling “personal details of messy divorces, memorializing deceased pets and reviewing all physical maladies endured throughout the year.” Top ten news story lists sometimes seem similar, highlighting the biggest and best (or worst) news of the past year. They’re good reading (better than most family Christmas letters,) but now it’s time for New Year’s resolutions or, in the case of the Daily Planet, a look ahead at the areas we know will be big news in 2012.

More than the horse race — The 2012 elections (and yes, there are local and state elections as well as the Big One) will be news. Most of the media has focused on the horse race, obsessively focusing on polling numbers and reporting on who’s ahead at 6 a.m. and who’s still ahead by 6 p.m. as if that mattered. We won’t do that.

We will focus on issues, and especially on issues that you, our readers, say are of the highest concern to you. Look for interactive discussions of what issues you think are important and for thoughtful analyses of those issues and of candidates’ stands on those issues. We’ll feature local voices in TCDP and also offer links to articles and discussions in national publications.

As Geoff Stone notes, political vitriol is divisive as well as corrosive. While we give wide leeway to bloggers and commenters, we will hope for and encourage rational dialogue rather than frothing and spewing.

Education — what’s working, what’s not working, how our kids are doing, how our college students are paying for their educations, the achievement gaps, teachers, students, parents — you’ll see it all here on the Daily Planet. Our brand new weekly Education Newsletter will highlight articles, blog posts, events, and links. For example, look for lots of links to thoughtful discussions of education issues from Beth Hawkins at MinnPost and Diane Ravitch at Education Week. Coming in January — click here to subscribe.

Food, glorious food!
You said it, and we listened: you want to read about food. That means a wide variety of restaurant reviews, but restaurants are just the tip of the iceberg. Food reporting also means reporting about community gardens, urban farms, locavores, sustainability, food stamps, nutrition, and a host of other food-related issues. Watch for our new TC Foodies newsletter and home page — another new launch in January. (Click here to subscribe in advance.)

Central Corridor communities — Sure, we’ll continue to cover construction and the coming of light rail, but our real focus is on the communities of the Central Corridor: the people, businesses, arts, entertainment, restaurants, groceries, schools, and homes. From downtown to downtown, we’ve got the Central Corridor covered.

Most of all, in the year ahead, we need you. We need your voices in the Free Speech Zone, and your Neighborhood Notes about happenings in your neighborhood, your block, your school.

If you’d like to learn more, look for our monthly how-to-use-the-Daily-Planet workshops (late afternoon, followed by a happy hour), our classes, and our list of potential assignments on the Story Page. We value your comments and your contributions, and we hope to include even more of your voices in 2012.


Education photo: Maxfield School, photo by Mary Turck for TC Daily Planet 
Horse race photo from Paolo Camera, used under Creative Commons license.
Food, glorious food from YouTube video of song from Oliver
Cedar Riverside soccer fields photo by Ibrahim Hirsi for TC Daily Planet