Often while writing articles, interacting with the community and attending a large majority of public meetings in Sheridan, we would find ourselves wanting to show the community how we write our articles.

Thus, The Sheridan Press has decided to create a Press Pass-member exclusive blog experience to help our readers see how the sausage is made. Enter: From the Hip.

While the phrase has a number of meanings, one is to speak in an honest or direct way. This is a chance for our reporters to share their raw thoughts on what happens behind the front page of the paper.

From the Hip is a space for reporters to explain how and why they do what they do, adding snippets that couldn’t be included in the daily article. There are several things that happen during the week that don’t fit in the print articles but are still important for people to understand.

Likewise, in a world that strongly distrusts the media — Gallup said trust has dropped to a new low of 32 percent, based on responders of a 2016 poll — we want to share the reasoning behind certain decisions that are made.

Government beat reporter Michael Illiano will present our first blog post. He recently reported on the topic of fluoride, which has, not surprisingly, turned into a contentious issue among those that engage in our social media sites. He cited several reputable sources that we often use in the newsroom for other articles strengthened by scientific research. He explains the necessity of reliable, truthful and authoritative sources.

Everything we write about has a human element, and we understand that. When I spend hours listening to witness testimony about sexual assault and illegal drug use in our local courtrooms, I feel the impact. I observe and listen to witness testimony from both perpetrator and victim; I have even shed quiet tears while listening to those testimonies.

I can’t speak for national broadcast news reporters or even fellow journalists sitting in newsrooms in New York, Chicago or California. I can speak for myself and our staff when I say we care about what we write; we check our sources and we own up to our mistakes. Each reporter cares about the community served.

In addition to explaining how we write the articles — time spent in interviews, in public meetings and researching statistics from reputable sources — we want to share the victories and struggles experienced. Through photos, audio clips, videos and the written word, we want to share how cool our jobs are and, more importantly, how amazing the people are that make up Sheridan’s population.

We’re excited to share the whats and whys behind the articles we publish. Sign up to become a Press Pass member, and check out Mike’s blog this week, featured on your customizable Press Pass homepage.