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EDITORIAL: Get to know ‘Get to Know’

You may have noticed a change to our editorial page lineup. If you haven’t noticed, then let us be the first to introduce you to our new feature, “Get to Know.“

The idea came from our Delmar reporter, Marcy Velte, who remembered reading a similar feature in her hometown newspaper growing up. The idea is to let you see a different side of our community and business leaders by asking them non-work-related questions such as “What are you reading?” and “What is your dream vacation?” Their answers may lead you to discover a common thread with someone who lives life in the public eye.

“Get to Know” replaces our “Word on the Street” feature, which ran on this page for about a year. “Word on the Street” allowed citizens living, working or visiting Delmar, Guilderland and Colonie to voice their opinions in print on a variety of topics, ranging from teacher layoffs to their favorite Thanksgiving tradition. It was a throwback to a time when reporters could stop people on the street and engage them in a discussion about the news of the day.

However, we quickly learned the idea was more of a relic than a throwback. We had a hard time finding people willing to answer the question of the week, and our reporters frequently commented that the people they approached would either flatly refuse or be reluctant to have their pictures taken. There were times when it took our reporters more than two hours to find three people to participate.

We were never quite certain why people were so reluctant to participate in “Word on the Street.” There used to be a time when people were excited to answer a reporter’s question, but it became obvious to us that this was no longer the case.

Perhaps people have become more distrustful of the media, or perhaps it was the element of being approached by someone they regarded as a random stranger with a camera that led them to avoid our reporters.

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