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Friday, June 21, 2024

My thoughts

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My last editorial as Lumina News’ editor and publisher: wow, no pressure there.

I came to editorial writing rather reluctantly, but sharing my opinion with readers these past 15 years has been an honor and a privilege I did not ever take lightly.

Good, bad and ugly, I put each out there hoping to make a difference. I appreciated every reader and reader’s comment, and am quite grateful there were very few negative ones.

Newspapers as I knew them growing up are no more and it is time for me to go.

The line between traditional media and “new” media has blurred so badly. The erosion accelerated when everyone with a smartphone, computer, camera and internet access and an opinion became a reporter, an editor, a producer with access to the world stage, most of them having zero training, and worse, zero ethics.

The media as we knew it — the champion of the people — has all but vanished. The Fourth Estate, charged with holding those in authority accountable, is essentially no more, although there are some holdouts that have not gone down the majority’s dark and slippery road.

Accountability is a worthy goal, but the resulting abuse has become a disaster.

Even the more traditional roles of print, radio and television media have, as a whole, sunk so low I see no way to resuscitate.

Talk show hosts and entertainment personalities are not typically trained journalists either; they are, more often than not, a good voice or a pretty face with access to a bully pulpit.  We have elevated them and their opinions to god-like status. Blame it on reality TV, blame it on aliens, it doesn’t change the pit the media is scraping the bottom of.

Lumina News is different. My late brother, Tim, was the king of understanding community news; he set the bar for me in that. And I believe there will always be a place for community news, especially when the opinion is saved for the opinion page. Everywhere else, “just the facts, ma’am.” Let the reader make up his or her own mind.

Lumina News is excellent, consistently winning top honors in our category from the North Carolina Press Association. We are poised to receive nine additional first-, second- and third-place awards from the 2016 annual judging. 

The newspaper is editorially and graphically strong. Terry Lane, who has been writing most of the stories the last six months, will do the community a solid job.

I feel confident he has what it takes to bring you the news, plus what it takes to keep a publication viable, or else I would have not entrusted my baby to him.

But no advertisers, no newspaper.

The community needs to rally around Lane and partner with him with their hard-earned cash. Advertising in Lumina News print and online works. It has thousands and thousands of readers; you are reading it, are you not?

Newspapers around the world are struggling to remain economically viable. Lumina’s cursory 25-cent purchase price will not support it; it needs advertisers, print and online. The more advertisers, the more pages of news. It is just that simple.

As for me, my other baby, the Wrightsville Beach Magazine, also highly acclaimed, deserves more of my time than I have been able to squeeze in.

I owe it to the magazine to help it blossom to its fullest. We have never had a better, more gifted team, so sit back, relax and watch us soar to even greater heights.

Now, I need your participation with two huge things also on my plate.

One, it is time for me to try to make a difference from the other side of the printing press. I will soon file for Wrightsville’s Board of Aldermen for this 2017 off-year election. Ethically, I couldn’t report on government, holding it and myself accountable, as LN’s editor/publisher, if I were in government.

And, I am going to heed God’s call to organize a home for orphaned children in Wilmington. Yes, there are great children’s home options outside our county, but Wilmington’s orphans should live and go to school in Wilmington, near to any relatives that desire a relationship with them, not hours away.

I am not saying I am going to make it my day job; there are qualified professionals for that. But I will organize a board, solicit funding, find the location, set up the systems and put my gifts to getting it up and operational, you bet.

Those of you who also feel this call from the Lord, it is time to come forth and do this great thing together for the glory of God.

So there you have it. This is not a step away, but a lateral step to endeavors I could not do and edit/publish Lumina News at the same time. I have thankfully not yet found a way to clone myself.


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