THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
While my usual riding companion, Bridget, our 4 1/2-year-old Lab mix, is still in Louisiana with my wife, Stephanie, I’ve been getting out and riding around the county.
More times than not, I’ve found myself smiling as I see a field with cotton on the ground or, as I saw on Colonial Road heading out to Old Sparta, a house with tarpaper made to look like brick.
For me, life is its own history lesson. I believe we are placed in a certain place because it is part of God’s plan. Yes, I believe very much in the existence of God and for me, the decision is as simple as looking as a cardinal on a branch or the beauty of a magnolia in bloom. I simply can’t fathom something so beautiful “just happening” in a great explosion.
So for me, there is a reason beyond a job that brings me and mine to Tarboro, Edgecombe County, North Carolina.
What is it? I can’t answer that, other than to tell you my task at The Daily Southerner is to make her the best she can be and to turn a profit for my employer and returning the newspaper to better health.
That, believe it or not, is tied to content.
Now, I’ll be the first to tell you I’m not going to catch all the typos and grammatical errors that appear in your newspaper. I admit to you I won’t even catch all of them in my own copy and I pretty much beat it to death before it makes it to the page.
But we’re going to give you local news and information — and we want your information.
One problem I perceive we have is that materials sent to us sometimes goes to five email addresses. While I’m still sorting out the flow of things, I do know that we’ve already had something fall through the cracks because everyone involved thought someone else was following up on it.
While the email blitz is one issue, the real issue was a lack of communications. In all honesty, we don’t have enough people to have a communications problem … we just didn’t communicate!
We’ll strive to do better to serve you better.
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We’re beginning to make some changes in the way we do things and, because it is your newspaper, I want to let you know what’s happening.
First, we’re moving obituaries and death notices to Page 2. They currently go to Page 5 with the story continuations from Page 1 and, at times where there are a large number of obits, we run into a space problem and have to break them from memorial ads.
By using Page 2, we have adequate space to publish obits as well as memorial ads. We will run Edgecombe Events on that page as well, adding the caveat that the events calendar is a free listing and is run on a space available basis. We will always strive to include the next 7-10 days in the calendar but our experience has been that once you get past 10 days, people have a tendency to forget.
Another change you’ll see is what I hope will be a better effort in the reporting of advance events — such as the initial article on Mr. Clarence Powell and the Montford Point Marines, the same day advance and the actual story. While the same day advance was actually run a day or two late, it was a combination of my not knowing we hadn’t done that and a young reporter’s not knowing we should do that.
There’s that “C” word again …communications.
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Thanks to all of ya’ll who have gone out of your way to come by the office or to speak to me in the office or around town and offer a kind word of welcome.
Stephanie comes in later this week and we continue the hunt for housing. As I told someone, I have the easy job in finding while she gets to pack and ready the house for the sale and move!
(John H. Walker is editor and publisher of The Daily Southerner. He may be contacted by telephone at (252) 823-3106 or by email at email@example.com)