Editor’s note: The monthly milestone column, which appears on the second day of each month – the anniversary of The Ann Arbor Chronicle’s launch – is an opportunity for either the publisher or the editor of The Chronicle to touch base with readers on topics related to this publication. It’s also a monthly reminder to readers who read The Chronicle’s material with a feed reader or some other ad-free mechanism to click through to have a look at the recent ad archive. Some of them are very pretty.
Publisher of The Chronicle, Mary Morgan, wrote a recent column explaining why this publication is not making endorsements of particular candidates for tomorrow’s primary election. She appealed to an analogy of candidates as race horses. But we expect the winning thoroughbreds to pull the plow as draft horses once they’re elected.
The draft horse analogy works just as well for The Chronicle as a publication. Mostly what we try to do is plow the field of civic and community affairs in a way that’s as predictable and straight as a furrow left by a well-drilled draft team. We are somewhat plodding.
It’s still worth pointing out that we’ve made some of our coverage a bit more sprightly by filing basic results on individual issues straight from public meetings via the Civic News Ticker. We’re successfully piloted the Ticker over the last month. And we’re now content to commit to it as a stable feature. Readers no longer need to wait for days on end to find out how a vote turned out.
But teams of draft horses – no matter how well drilled, or how sprightly they step on occasion – are not typically recorded in history the same way as names like Secretariat or Man o’ War. Most Chronicle readers would be hard pressed to provide the name of some specific draft horse, past or present – other than perhaps the fictional Boxer from Orwell’s “Animal Farm.”
So for this month’s milestone column I’d like to highlight some of the other draft horses on The Chronicle team – besides Mary Morgan and me. I’d like to make it more clear when readers voluntarily send us subscription dollars, they’re “voting” not just for the two founders of this publication whose livelihoods depend on its financial success. Voluntary subscribers are also voting for the other freelance writers who are helping to pull The Chronicle’s plow, and who earn part of their livelihoods from their work for The Chronicle.
Otherwise put, draft horses need some hay to eat. And maybe even some sugar cubes.