“If I had my choice I would kill every reporter in the world, but I am sure we would be getting reports from Hell before breakfast.”
—William Tecumseh Sherman
As a reporter, I comically resent this, but as a private citizen, I understand, and I am sure that there are many along my beat who would agree with Sherman.
However, I offer the following to all of Pickens County and the many that may bump into me along the streets of Pickens, Easley or Powdersville.
I am simply a mediator of the news, a fly on the wall, and an objective voice assigned with the delivery of it all to the community.
I have no personal vendettas and no want for controversy.
Community journalists, of whom I am proud to call myself, occupy the same jurisdiction as city officials, business owners, and neighbors. It would not serve me in the slightest to skew the truth and commit any pack of lies to print.
It would serve me to befriend the contacts along my beat, talk with them and work with them but make them aware that my duty first belongs to the public and that I must objectively offer an accurate recital of the news regardless of how it may affect them.
It would be easy for an outside news source or someone from a larger media to come in here, stir up a hornet’s nest, badger our mayors and city officials, and question our citizens in an effort to please a far away editor concerned more with ratings rather than the welfare of neighbors.
I am committed to the communities in which I cover. If you say it, if you act upon it, and it is something that the public has the right to know, then it is my obligation to the community and to my employers to report it.
And although technology has made the world a much smaller place over the last two decades and local responsibilities have diminished, news out of Europe, California or even Greenville does not take precedence over our people or what is going on right here in Pickens County, and as a community journalist, it is my commitment to bring our news and our experiences to the people of this area.
I can only hope that the community, its people, and its officials will accommodate my wishes and leave me with nothing but good things to report.
“You know community journalism when you see it; it is the heartbeat of American journalism, journalism in its natural state.”