Between the Lines: The ‘Dick Van Dyke’ moment

�Things do not change, we change.� �  Henry David Thoreau

Since you�re reading my column, it means you�ve turned a page or two in this week�s Plain Talk and noticed that things indeed have changed.

Right now you�re probably thinking one of two things: �Why did they go and change the Plain Talk?� Or �Hooray, they finally changed the Plain Talk!�

We understand how people may be reluctant, at first, to embrace our new design, while some of our readers are accepting what they are seeing for the first time with wide-eyed enthusiasm.

Let�s face it. The only thing constant in life is change. Perhaps that�s what makes it so hard to accept. We tend to cling to what�s familiar, to try to hold on to the things we find important and hope they always stay the same.

We try to avoid a �Dick Van Dyke� moment � that time, in the opening of his television show back in the black-and-white era of the early 1960s, when he takes a pratfall over a footstool in the course of simply stepping into his living room.

The room obviously had changed.

If you find yourself in the middle of a pratfall right now as you navigate through the Plain Talk, that�s perfectly understandable. But we think you�ll like what you find as you continue exploring our new look.

The Plain Talk had looked the same for a long, long time. At least a decade. Maybe more. Much has changed in Vermillion since then. Downtown has a new look thanks to its streetscape plan.

We�re home to a new, modern, contemporary city hall.

The University of South Dakota has constructed a new medical school, a new student center, a new business school and has made numerous physical improvements to campus.

Cherry Street, which runs right past our office building, has been rebuilt.

Amidst all of this change, we sort of just stayed the same. And we knew that adapting an attitude in which we simply turned our back to change and progress, opting to continue to do the same things the same way, would eventually be a disservice to our readers and to our community.

I�m not going to go into a lot of detail here. You�ll notice we�ve updated our flag � that�s the portion of the front page that contains our newspaper�s name.

We�ve added new headline fonts.

We�ve changed the look of the captions that run under photos. We�ve revamped our sports pages.  We�ve added a community calendar, to do a better job of informing readers of the incredible amount of things that go on in Vermillion every week.

And we have decided to incorporate the TV listings into the Plain Talk itself rather than in a separate section.

We have strived to make the Plain Talk a pleasing thing for our readers to hold and consume every week. We think it is a change for the better.

There are some things that will never change. The Plain Talk remains the one media entity truly dedicated to being the printed record of the history of the Vermillion community as it unfolds.

We continue to strive to be the source of printed information about the stuff that is truly important. Stories and photos about local government. Education. Sports. Our past.

And our future.

We believe you�ll enjoy the changes. And at the same time, you�ll realize our level of devotion and commitment to our readers and community hasn�t wavered.

�Just because everything is different doesn�t mean that everything has changed.� � Irene Peter

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