The marvelous group project

Andrea Chaffin Editor

May 16, 2014

During my college years, no words from a professor were more dreaded than these: “Group project.”

The pain. The agony. The laziness. The lack of communication. I hated working with other students.

But, in my professional life, I’ve learned there are many benefits to being part of a group. As a team, we can break up complex ideas into parts, tackling them individually. Each member can focus on the issue which best suits their skill set; we can establish a shared identity; we can provide diverse prospectives to each other.

The Madison Press is part of a group of community newspapers owned by Civitas Media, and when we work together to combine our skills and resources, some pretty wonderful things happen.

One of those group projects was published in Tuesday’s newspaper. Various reporters and editors from our company’s 100-plus newspapers delved into a special report taking a look at the potential decline of the three-sport athlete in high school sports. The report, which took months of preparation, “demystified the college scholarship myth,” and found the decline was due to multiple factors, including consolidation.

The #three-sport investigation followed up similar reports we wrote on the rise of heroin and the Affordable Care Act, which were published earlier this year.

We thought it was a great report, and we’re glad to hear many of you agreed. Look for a more light-hearted report on the art of the selfie soon.

Today, I’m excited to share another marvelous group project: Salt magazine.

It’s something that’s dear to my heart. I’ve been the food editor of Salt magazine for about two years, and have known since I first joined the Salt team that Madison County readers would love it, too.

Salt, published six times per year, is not hard-hitting. Typically, we stay away from controversial issues and big news stories, instead encouraging our readers to pour a cup of herbal tea or coffee, and tuck in with the magazine and a favorite blanket.

The lifestyle magazine is written, photographed and designed by local contributors. It features articles on topics such as gardening, exercising, antiques, homemade gift ideas, travel destinations, activities, decorating, crafting and — most importantly — lots of recipes, as well as various contests. Each issue is filled with local human interest stories, highlighting all of the fascinating and wonderful people and places in Southwest, and now, Central Ohio.

The magazine’s mantra is “Flavor for Everyday Life.”

Up until today, Salt has been included in Civitas Media newspapers in Clinton, Highland, Adams, Brown, Fayette, Greene and Montgomery counties. We can now add Madison County to that list.

This issue, provided free to our home delivery subscribers in today’s newspaper, will once again take readers on a unique journey of discovering the treasured people and resources in our greater community.

Learn about a Lilly Chapel cake baker who turned a hobby into a sweet business; spend some time on the farm at Young’s Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs; from Cincinnati to Conneaut, take a tour of Ohio’s beautiful wineries; read about one expert’s take on the best fishing holes Ohio has to offer, and enjoy reading the many other features included in this issue.

If you’re not a home delivery subscriber, copies are available for $3 at our office, or you can be a Salt subscriber for $21 each year.

Perhaps the easiest way to describe Salt is this: It makes working on group projects fun.

Andrea Chaffin is the editor of The Madison Press. She can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 19 or