I enjoy the variety my job brings. In a typical work day, I may write a feature story on the outstanding accomplishments of an Evans County citizen, cover a local government meeting and interview the sheriff about a recent drug bust.
But, with all of the activity ongoing in a community like Claxton, there’s bound to be topics, events and the like that we just can’t get to … and that’s the beauty of a weekly community newspaper.
Our primary responsibility is to deliver local news that is relevant and of interest to our readers, but The Claxton Enterprise also serves in many ways as a community forum, a collaborative effort of the local public. Following proper verification, we print event announcements and news stories supplied by local churches, schools and various community groups.
As an editor, I love for our readers and Evans County residents to be involved with the newspaper. When there’s an event we can’t get to we often rely on someone in attendance to supply photos and give us a summary of the event. These contributions help make The Claxton Enterprise a well-rounded publication featuring the perspectives and voices of more than just one or two writers.
While I am proud of the quality content The Claxton Enterprise provides each week, I’m also aware of room for improvement. We receive comments and suggestions from readers and take those seriously and we’re always investigating new story angles, feature series or columns that will be of interest to our readers.
Our weakest coverage area in the four years I’ve been with The Enterprise is local sports. We don’t have a sports reporter or full-time photographer on staff. As such, sports coverage is one area in which we rely heavily on game recaps from team coaches and photos from freelance photographers, parents, school faculty and even the student athletes themselves.
For the past few seasons, we’ve been blessed with two or three freelance photographers, one in particular, whose work has greatly enhanced the quality of the newspaper and helped provide consistent photo coverage of our local athletes. Thank you, John!
Representatives from the Evans County School System and Pinewood Christian Academy supply The Claxton Enterprise with game information and stats to accompany the photos we receive for publication. The amount and consistency of game information we get during any given season varies, depending on the responsibilities and schedules of the school faculty and staff providing the information.
As it should be, Claxton High and PCA’s most important obligation, is educating Evans County’s youth. Sometimes a few weeks go by without game information from one or both of the schools.
I don’t point out this coverage issue in an attempt to disparage either Evans County Schools or Pinewood Christian Academy, rather to address criticism The Claxton Enterprise occasionally receives from our readers – that we intentionally favor one school over the other in our coverage of school sports teams. From season to season, our “favoritism” shifts. According to these critics, one season we promote Tiger sports above Patriot teams and vice versa.
These accusations are simply not true. What purpose would it serve our readers for The Claxton Enterprise to intentionally promote one school above the other? Furthermore, how would it benefit our business reputation or news credibility to do so? Not only would such action be unfair and unprofessional, it would provide absolutely no benefit to The Claxton Enterprise or to our readers. I can assure readers we publish ALL of the sports coverage we receive from both Evans County Schools and Pinewood Christian Academy.
While we do our best to promote Claxton and Evans County’s student athletes and encourage their success, as do the local schools, the coverage is still weak in some areas. And, you can help. Yes, we want you! Any parents, grandparents or local sports enthusiasts interested in covering local athletic events, please give us a call or email me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help us make The Claxton Enterprise a stronger, more community-involved publication. After all, a healthy newspaper is indicative of an active, involved and proud community. I’d like to think some folks still take Pride In Evans.
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