Six weeks ago, we started a new initiative to get reporters out into the community and give the people of Long Beach a chance to get to know us better.

We sent members of our newsroom across the city this summer for so-called “Office Hours”—dedicated times where the public could walk into a restaurant or coffee shop in their neighborhood and have a one-on-one conversation with a Long Beach Post reporter.

We went Downtown, Midtown, Uptown and to East Long Beach.

It was an experiment to see who we would meet and what we could learn from a little more listening. And you showed up: from longtime readers just wanting to chat with their favorite reporter, to nonprofit representatives pitching us stories, to people coming to us with valuable and off-the-record news tips, to people wanting to tell us their story on a podcast.

We learned a lot during our summer Office Hours. Thanks to several North Long Beach residents, we have a better understanding of what Spanish-speaking community members need. And we heard our new Hi-lo readers when they told us they were unclear on what the Hi-lo actually is. And we won’t forget our readers who told us they’d like more climate change coverage. We’re working on implementing this and everything else we learned into our coverage and strategy moving forward.

A steady stream of the community members allowed us the opportunity to have real conversations with our readers individually—and we’re so thankful to those who took the time to come talk to us. We can’t wait to keep the conversations going.

So let’s do it again.

Long Beach Post reporter Stephanie Rivera speaks to community members during an Office Hours session at Aguas Way. Photo by Valerie Osier.

But first, we want your feedback so that we can better plan out our next set of Office Hours. We’ll do a set of sessions at the start of each quarter and work the rest of the time to implement your suggestions, follow up on your story ideas, heed your advice and address your complaints.

If we didn’t get a chance to talk to you during this round, we want to change that. If we didn’t come to your neighborhood, let’s do it next time. Whether you participated or not, please fill out the survey below to let us know what you liked about Office Hours, what you didn’t and what we can do better in the fall.

See you next time!

Long Beach Post columnist and editor Brian Addison during an Office Hours session at The Bamboo Club. Photo by Thomas Cordova.
Long Beach Post columnist and editor Tim Grobaty and Managing Editor Melissa Evans talk to former councilwoman Renee Simon during an Office Hours session at Cha for Tea. Photo by Thomas Cordova.