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Just doing our job

This past week, a reader told me that she really looks forward to receiving The McDuffie Mirror each week. News everywhere else is "depressing" and she finds our paper "a breath of fresh air" with the stories of interesting things people are doing, she said.

I looked at this week's edition, and she's right - there's a story about young people helping others (Mission:McDuffie), adults helping others (Leadership McDuffie, Thomson Manor residents), soldiers helping children (National Guard drug task force at day camp), the new Small Business of the Year (Williams Sewer and Drain) and a cancer patient who is learning a new lease on life (Charlotte Bolander).

No wonder I love my job. And no wonder you love our paper. Judges with the Georgia Press Association liked our paper, too, as is shown in a story on page 3A.

We have our "depressing" news, too. As much as we like "country living, city style," we do not live in a perfect world. As journalists, we have a responsibility to hold the government entities accountable to you, the citizen. We do this by attending their meetings and reporting what they are doing. As a citizen, you are more than welcome to attend these same meetings. Just because I'm a member of the press does not give me more special privileges than you. But if you are getting bored now with this column, I have to warn you that you'll be bored in a long meeting.

Although meetings get boring, this office never does. People stop by all day with reports that range on both ends of the spectrum. The happy reports include an upcoming wedding, a birth, winning a tournament. And the unhappy reports - they heard a rumor, they passed an accident, they didn't get their paper. There's always something. When my cohort, Billy, just heard there's another banquet to cover, he dryly commented "this is the most eatin'est and meetin'est bunch of people I've ever seen in my life." Which is another reason our office never gets boring. It's so small and we are here so many hours, that we've seen everybody's moods on both ends of the spectrum and in between. We fuss, complain, joke and laugh until we cry. Some snore. And some of us even sing and dance. Of course, we are always professional, but we also are your hometown newspaper. We are proud to cover our home. We need you to keep telling us the good, the bad and the ugly. How else will we know? And since we are "home," I'll admit that the reader who thinks we are a breath of fresh air is my own mother. I'm sure she was slightly biased with her comment, but it made sense to me.

Web posted on Thursday, June 11, 2009

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