What we’ve accomplished

Nancy and I got an invitation to speak about community journalism and the role blogging can play in keeping residents informed. This afternoon we’ll talk to students in a class taught by Leroy Towns, a professor in the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Prepping to speak to the fast-track freshmen got us to thinking about how much we’ve accomplished since we started this blog in early September 2009.

We’ve provided information in a reliable format that just wasn’t available before – no one would take on the task and the commitment it entails without pay. We’ve gotten residents more involved in what goes on at Town Hall. We’ve broken a few stories, my favorite being the Cam Hill/illegal campaign flier piece. We dogged the Town Council on the Bill Strom issue, and now the appointment process is about to be discussed in greater detail. The town newspaper is going about its coverage of town government much more diligently than it did before we weighed in.

Most important, we engaged in discussions with some very observant, very informed and very community-oriented people who are concerned about our town.
That involvement and willingness to share is what this is all about. At its best this blog should be a discussion — as we said in our very first post, “Democracy is supposed to be a conversation between government and the people it represents.” We appreciate the comments from readers, who have shared what they know and have corrected us when we got some things wrong.

We have our good days and our bad days, just like any publication. The important thing is that we keep that conversation going. That’s a point we will stress with the students today. I hope we can covey to them just how important that conversation is for the future of their communities.
–Don Evans

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  1. Beth

     /  March 18, 2010

    Tell them to get out while they can!!!

    Just kidding, kind of 😉

  2. How did it go? Over the years I’ve noted that more and more D.T.H. and JOMC students are looking at careers outside traditional print media, did that seem the case today?

  3. Bill

     /  March 18, 2010

    Your blog is a breath of fresh air, with real news and real opinion. No polishing going on here, unlike the local paper.

    Thanks for all your effort

  4. Sue Field

     /  March 19, 2010

    Thanks so much, Don and Nancy, for “doing the math” — i.e., covering the behind-the-scenes town council beat for us in the best tradition of investigative journalism. We need an I.F. Stone Weekly in our lives these days. It reminds me of an interview I saw of him back in the 60’s — he recounted the fact that he was a struggling journalist in Washington; and he lost his hearing — sort of a catastrophe in the news business. But rather than fold, he started reading all the Vietnam congressional hearings in the Congressional Record since he couldn’t attend the hearing itself. That was the turning point for him because news reporters would miss important statements and nuances that he would catch on doing his close readings of the record. And that was how he exposed many of the lies told about the Vietnam War. So pardon me if I think of you as our own “I.F. (Evans)Stone.” We need you to keep our town politics more open and above-board and to provide your closer look at the issues and policies before they get filed away and forgotten. THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANK

  5. Mark Marcoplos

     /  March 19, 2010

    It’s been a nice addition to the local news. I’ve learned things here that were not published elsewhere. Thanks.