Two weeks ago, I had no aspirations to fill the position of news editor here at the Citizen Voice and Times.
But, as the saying goes, life comes at you fast.
I had been keeping an eye open for a full time job, but at the same time was reluctant to leave the paper. I knew I’d miss the connection with the community through my work as a staff writer.
Unexpectedly, Whitney announced she had taken a position in another town. When the opportunity arose for me to step into her role, I realized the answer to my dilemma was right in front of me.
So here I am, happy to serve this community as the next editor of the Citizen Voice and Times.
I will do my best to provide the same quality local journalism that Whitney and our predecessors have before me.
I certainly will miss Whitney here at the office. I’ve admired her professionalism and her creativity since the days when she first came here as an intern. Besides that, she is a wonderful person, smart and easy to be around.
You won’t notice many changes in the layout of the paper. I will be writing more news articles and features but fewer lifestyle columns, while appearing on the op-ed page more frequently.
I do plan to run some guest columns on the lifestyle page. I think you will enjoy hearing from some other local voices. Estill County has many talented writers, and I’m excited to showcase some of that talent.
In the two and a half years I’ve been here as staff writer, I’ve most enjoyed telling the stories of local people.
Everyone has a story, or, I suppose you could say, everyone is a story in the making. All are important and make up the fabric that is our community, one that I happen to believe has a good heart.
We do have our issues, one of the most pressing being the drug problem that persists in Estill County.
Sometimes we despair of any progress being made, but as I’ve interviewed a couple of people in the past few weeks for National Recovery Month who have overcome their addictions, I realize that there is hope for everyone.
I’m grateful to those people for sharing their stories, which required a good amount of courage. To do so is to risk ridicule from those who have never abused drugs and don’t understand the problem or to risk pressure to return to their former lifestyle from those they partied with before.
If we want to see more of these successful recovery stories, the community must be supportive and remember that people need loving the most when they deserve it the least.
My goal as editor is to simply continue to fill the paper with as much local news and photos as possible.
I don’t relish the thought of covering crime and tragedy, but that comes with the territory. I will do my best to do so with sensitivity and respect.
Covering local government meetings is an important role of a local newspaper. Citizens have the right to know how and where their tax dollars are spent.
All meetings are open to the public, but most citizens have neither the time nor inclination to attend. My job is to keep you informed.
I’ll have much to learn as I transition into my new role, and I’ll be relying heavily on the rest of our small staff.
Trust me when I say there is more to putting together a paper than writing and taking pictures.
I’m excited to embrace this new challenge, and I hope to deliver to you weekly not only the news but some food for thought and even an occasional reason to smile.