There have been a few special additions to the Times over the last couple of days.
Friday's edition included the Gloucester Daily Times' 40th annual Summer Guide, the 56-page magazine that spotlights the many places to go, things to see and things to do as we now head into the heart of our Cape Ann summer season beginning this weekend.
Today's edition includes another annual presentation, our three-page "Salute to Seniors" that features the names of all the high school seniors and this year's class photos from across Cape Ann to neighboring schools.
We will, of course, later provide day-to-day coverage of events such as our Cape Ann high school graduations. And we will certainly cover a wide variety of summer happenings on a day-to-day basis, from St. Peter's Fiesta next month through the downtown Block Parties and the Schooner Festival over Labor Day Weekend.
So you may wonder, what's the point of these and other special magazines and features.
In other words, why would your community's newspaper do that?
There are a number of reasons, of course. One of the most significant is that it gives us a chance to pack a lot of information about a specific featured topic — all in one place. That gives the subject or subjects a lot more focused attention than we could likely provide otherwise through simple day-to-day coverage.
In the case of today's "Salute to Seniors," seeing all of the senior students' names and the photos of the classes in one edition creates a section that we realize many readers may want to save.
Also, as these students go on with their lives, they will no doubt cross paths with students from other schools in our area. In that sense, all of the seniors in this year's classes — like those of every year — share many common hopes, dreams and goals, and in that sense are a community themselves. This annual section is designed to recognize that.
The Summer Guide has a different focus; it wasn't only included in Friday's Times, it will also be distributed to a number of local businesses that cater to area visitors. It is designed to give visitors and residents alike a true "guide" to the many activities they can enjoy around Cape Ann as the summer goes forward.
The Summer Guide is not just for tourists. I'd like to think that year-round residents will enjoy reading staff writer Gail McCarthy's piece about the new music festivals that will light up Cape Ann later thus summer, Joann Mackenzie's story spotlighting the many events that will be happening not on Cape Ann's beaches or on the water, but right in the heart of downtown Gloucester, and Dave Cohen's piece telling us all the best ways to get to one of Cape Ann's most visible attractions, Thacher Island and and its iconic twin lighthouses.
But visitors especially can glean a lot from Summer Guide, including places to visit, stay and dine. And it gives our advertisers an effective means of targeting these new potential customers, while also showcasing their businesses for local residents.
Special sections such as these drive home another point. That's the fact that the Times doesn't simply cover the breaking news and provide daily information about the goings on around Gloucester and our Cape Ann towns. We also want to provide special looks at Cape Ann life and its wonderful people.
These special sections and features help us do that. As always, let me know what you think.
Questions? Comments? Is there a topic you'd like to see addressed in a future column? Contact Times Editor Ray Lamont at 978-283-7000 x3438, or firstname.lastname@example.org.