Statewide Editorial Roundup for July 3-7

Once again I’ve gotta start this off with a quick apology — I took last week off mainly due to some end-of-session exhaustion and traveling to Wilmington for an early Fourth of July party. But I’m back in the game this week.

So here’s the deal: Each week I’ll highlight five editorials from across the state — avoiding anything in major metropolitan areas like Wake or Mecklenburg counties. The roundup might not have what most of us call “timely” editorials because some papers are weekly or don’t publish a daily editorial. I’ll try to keep them timely though. I’ll focus on hitting at least one paper from each of the state’s regions (or try to at least).

Why in the world am I doing this?: It’s simple — so many of us get wrapped up in our own little bubbles in Raleigh or Charlotte or where ever we are that we forget that there are cities and towns and villages in our own state that are battling some of the same issues we are. We often forget about the small towns, or we write-off their ideas as “Podunk” or “redneck.” We shouldn’t. It’s important to consume ideas and opinions from outside of your comfort zone. And this is what I’m attempting to do.

Here’s the rundown for July 3-7

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Statewide Editorial Roundup for June 19-23

And I’m a bit behind in posting this — chalk it up to a busy week. But that’s not gonna stop me from continuing what I started last week.

So here’s the deal: Each week I’ll highlight five editorials from across the state — avoiding anything in major metropolitan areas like Wake or Mecklenburg counties. The roundup might not have what most of us call “timely” editorials because some papers are weekly or don’t publish a daily editorial. I’ll try to keep them timely though. I’ll focus on hitting at least one paper from each of the state’s regions (or try to at least).

Why in the world am I doing this?: It’s simple — so many of us get wrapped up in our own little bubbles in Raleigh or Charlotte or where ever we are that we forget that there are cities and towns and villages in our own state that are battling some of the same issues we are. We often forget about the small towns, or we write-off their ideas as “Podunk” or “redneck.” We shouldn’t. It’s important to consume ideas and opinions from outside of your comfort zone. And this is what I’m attempting to do.

Here’s the rundown for June 19-23: 

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Statewide Editorial Roundup for June 12-16

Last week I posted an idea I had on Twitter about creating a weekly newsletter of editorials from across the state. I didn’t mean much by it, but it got a few likes and my boyfriend even told me that it was a good idea. That go me wondering whether or not I should do it. So instead of creating a whole new newsletter, I’m opting to use my very underutilized website to try it out for a few weeks.

So here’s the deal: Each week I’ll highlight five editorials from across the state — avoiding anything in major metropolitan areas like Wake or Mecklenburg counties. The roundup might not have what most of us call “timely” editorials because some papers are weekly or don’t publish a daily editorial. I’ll try to keep them timely though. I’ll focus on hitting at least one paper from each of the state’s regions (or try to at least).

Why in the world am I doing this?: It’s simple — so many of us get wrapped up in our own little bubbles in Raleigh or Charlotte or where ever we are that we forget that there are cities and towns and villages in our own state that are battling some of the same issues we are. We often forget about the small towns, or we write-off their ideas as “Podunk” or “redneck.” We shouldn’t. It’s important to consume ideas and opinions from outside of your comfort zone. And this is what I’m attempting to do.

Here’s the rundown for June 12-16:

The Sylva Herald and Ruralite: “HB200 is well worth backing”

From the editorial: “Not to belabor the point, but gerrymandering creates safe seats where an elected official has no motivation to even attempt to compromise on any given issue. As Bob Phillips, director of Common Cause North Carolina points out, ‘Gerrymandering undermines the fundamental principle of American democracy by depriving voters of a choice in who represents them.’

“And on a point few pundits talk about, gerrymandering doesn’t fit at all with the changing structure of North Carolina’s electorate. Yes, we have a two-party system, with Democrats and Republicans working to gain and keep power, but those two choices are carrying less appeal to North Carolinians.”

The Carteret County News-Times: “We’re out of Paris” 

From the editorial: “We applaud President Donald Trump for making good on his campaign promise to have the United States exit the Paris Climate Change Accords, one of the greatest political frauds ever perpetrated.”

“We have urged withdrawing from the climate accords ever since former President Barack Obama wrangled the U.S. into the arrangement. Passed in late 2015 by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and signed by 195 nations, it was a pledge to cut carbon dioxide emissions over 10 to 15 years to avert a total temperature rise of only 0.306° Fahrenheit by 2100.

“The economic cost of remaining in the accords would have destroyed America’s economy and lowered the standard of living.”

The Robesonian: “Court: Commissioners can’t be random in granting permits”

From the editorial: “The benefit is plain: Solar farms produce clean energy, they generate income for property owners whose land, much of which used to produce income by growing tobacco, has been sitting idly, they don’t require electricity, sewer and water to prosper, and they generate property tax dollars for the county that can be put to work for all of us.

“The blemish is also plain: Solar farms are ugly, though their scarring of the landscape can be mitigated with buffers.

“We will be adding a solar farm locally because last week the N.C. Court of Appeals determined that the Robeson County Board of Commissioners had wrongfully denied a conditional-use permit that was needed to establish a solar farm on 40 acres of a 54.37-acre tract on St. Anna Church Road in Pembroke, a denial that was then upheld by a Superior Court judge.”

The Transylvania Times: “Loyalty To The Constitution, Not Individuals” 

From the editorial: “With government, we want individuals who are loyal to this country and the democratic principles upon which it was founded, but that is quite different than being loyal to any individual in government.  A country’s leaders can lead it down the wrong path and promote unjust and immoral acts.  The soldiers of Nazi Germany were loyal to their country just as the soldiers of the South were loyal to the Confederacy, but they were misled by their leaders.

“In this respect, blind loyalty can become obeisance, setting individuals up for easy manipulation and coercing them to repress their individual conscience. An immoral or unethical act is okay because their leader has demanded or approved it – either explicitly or implicitly.”

The Bladen Journal: “Ego wins out over frugality”

From the editorial: “And hanging photos of county commissioners in the courthouse and other county buildings is just that … frivolous.

“If there is a lesson these five elected officials need to learn, it comes from a line in the 1985 movie ‘Brewster’s Millions’ that was uttered by Rupert Horn (played by Hume Cronyn): ‘I’m gonna teach you to hate spending money. I’m gonna make you so sick of spending money that the mere sight of it will make you wanna throw up!’

“We will take this time to applaud the votes of Commissioners Charles Ray Peterson, Ashley Trivette, David Gooden and Daniel Dowless against the motion.

“Britt stated the folks at the nutrition center are charged $5 for lunch, so it would seem that $1,450 could have been used far more sensibly had the board voted to send that money to be used for meals until the next fiscal year’s budget kicked in.”

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Anyway, that’s all for now. If you have any thoughts about what to include in this or how it should be formatted, let me know! Who knows, this might be the one and only roundup, but I hope not.

-LH

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When local news becomes national news

A quick look at some of The Herald-Sun's coverage of The Chapel Hill Shooting.
A quick look at some of The Herald-Sun’s coverage of The Chapel Hill Shooting.

When I started at The Herald-Sun I’d just graduated from college and left behind a pretty swanky internship with a large, daily metro newspaper. I went from a staff of more than 30 reporters and editors, to a staff of maybe a dozen reporters and editors.

It was a quick shift, but I wanted that. I wanted to move from a large daily to a small daily. I liked the aspect of doing more community stories, instead of state-wide stories. I liked the speed of Durham compared to Des Moines.

But on Feb. 11, I missed what being part of a large staff had to offer, but, for reasons some might not think about.

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Aftermath: Four days later

I heard the call for mutual aid go out over the police scanner shortly after it happened. It was probably about 5:20 p.m. on Feb. 10. I didn’t hear a clear location. I heard a cross street. But I heard the call.

“Gun shot wound.”

“It” I would later find out would become national news. The shootings this week in Chapel Hill, North Carolina have taken over every aspect of my life.

When we learned that the shooting took place in an area of Chapel Hill where grad student lived we prepared for the worst – and the worst became our reality.

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Learning on the job

The old H-S offices on Pickett Road in Durham, N.C. I’ve always been told to keep my blog up and running, but as we know, that isn’t something I’m good at. I thought for awhile that I’d make this a place to muse about my life as a college journalist, then as an intern and eventually as a post-grad, fully-employed journalist.

Obviously my thoughts don’t always make it into the “action” stage of life.

But now, I’m on the cusp of having worked for eight months at The Herald-Sun. It feels weird to say that. Eight months. I’ve been a full-time employee at a daily publication for eight months.

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Remembering Rick: My journalism life coach

Rick looks over my shoulder as I show him the website we were live blogging on for President Obama's campaign stop at the Living History Farm in Des Moines.
Rick looks over my shoulder as I show him the website we were live blogging on for President Obama’s campaign stop at the Living History Farm in Des Moines.

I think it’s fitting that I spent today in the newsroom, that’s how Rick would have wanted it. Especially since I spent the day at his former paper.

Richard Tapscott was a lot of things. The quintessential journalism professor. A man of few words. A man of many words. Professor. Mentor. Colleague. Father. Grandfather.

I always called him my “Journalism Life Coach.” That is what he was to me. He was more than a professor. He encouraged me to go above and beyond what I thought my abilities were.

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Back to the grind

“Syllabus Week” is over. The first two editions of the paper have been sent to the printers and Beyonce caused a power outage. The first week of a semester can be stressful, add in a campus publication, a flurry of meetings and starting the plans for a 56-page edition of said publication; well you’ve got a mess.

A wonderful, hot mess. Today the office was stressful, but you know, that’s how it goes in student media sometimes. You have to roll with the punches, or in my case the pronoun-antecedent non-agreements and the Oxford commas.

Red ink got all over my hand after a particularly rough article edit.
Red ink got all over my hand after a particularly rough article edit.

It comes with the territory. I know what I’m getting into every week. Tuesdays at 5 p.m. I’m in Meredith Hall 124 for the night. I bring my supper. I make a pot of coffee and just wait. I wait for the pages to come in. The questions to be asked and the pens to be thrown at my desk (my telltale sign of frustration). As frustrating as it can be I wouldn’t trade my time in that office for the world. The friendships I’ve made over the past three years and the bonds I’m creating are consistently surprising. The people you meet in student media are some of the nicest, most sarcastic and real people you’ll meet during your college career.

I’m thankful for the people I have in my newsroom. They’re the ones who make fun of me for having a red pen explode on me and get all over my hand. They’re the ones who make the late nights worth it.

With my semester jam-packed with 16 credits and the pending Relays Edition induced stress binge I couldn’t be more thankful for my fellow editors and reporters.

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A year in review

Well, 2012 is officially over. I think this because every calendar I own keeps reminding me. Last year was pretty eventful in many ways. I spent a lot of it in a newsroom with a staff of wonderful colleagues at Drake. For the first time I lived away from my parents for more than 9 months of the year. I spent maybe two months back in Minnesota. They were wonderful months, but as I once told a good friend: “Minnesota has my heart, but Iowa has my vote.” Which means, I prefer to be in Iowa for the most part.

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The editorial that never ran

Well, I’ve finished a year of being the editor-in-chief of the Drake University newspaper, The Times-Delphic. It’s been a long process, but I’ve loved it. I’ll write a full reflection later this week, but for now, my post will be an editorial I wrote for the end of this semester that never got published, and well, I can’t put it on the publication’s website because it’s down at the moment (I knocked it offline to redo the design/do some maintenance). I wrote this for the last issue of the semester, but as it came to be, we didn’t have enough room (our ads team sold a lot of ads). Anyway, I didn’t want it take up space in our DropBox folder anymore so I decided to just post it here.

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