I’ve had a whirlwind three weeks here at the Coastal Courier. Our readers and community leaders have been welcoming, wishing me luck in my new position.
I am striving to adjust as quickly as possible. Still, getting my footing in a job like this is sometimes like trying to stand firm on shifting desert sands. Please bear with us as we are in a period of transition.
We had some missteps in the newsroom last week, despite our best efforts. There’s an old Yiddish saying, “Man plans and God laughs.” Meaning, no matter how careful we plan to make the road smooth, invisible speed bumps and potholes are going to bounce us around. There were some errors in Saturday’s paper, including a non-existent jump on one front page story. I take responsibility for these mistakes, and will take measures to mitigate making similar errors in future. Corrections can be found on page 2 of today’s paper.
That said, we are facing a bittersweet farewell this week. After 27 years at the Courier, Pat Watkins will make his departure on Friday. Pat has accepted a public relations/spokesperson type of positon with the Liberty County Development Authority.
Pat was my boss a decade ago. He is like a patient professor, always ready and willing to help a reporter or editor improve their skills. Pat and his wife Jan raised a family in Liberty County, and know the people and the place like a dog-eared Rand McNally printed map, the kind us older folks had in our glove boxes before GPS was invented.
We wish Pat the best in his new career and will miss his calming presence. Please wish him well, just don’t hold him up Friday afternoon! Friday is a layout deadline day to paginate our Saturday print issue.
I also want to ask you, dear readers, about changing some of our regular features. How many of you avid fishermen and boating enthusiasts would miss seeing our low and high tides report if we discontinued it? How many of you check your lottery numbers using our newspaper? I play from time-to-time, but go to a website on my mobile phone to check that I’m still broke and can’t afford my lottery dream home like the lucky winners on an HGTV show.
We want to hear from you. We want your opinions on Sound Off and as letters to the editor. Give me a call or email me. If you can’t reach me, leave me a message and I will try to respond in a timely manner. A few people have told me they like seeing more local, original content in the Courier. They’ve been encouraging, saying the paper will continue to improve, gain more subscribers and advertisers. To that I reply with another Yiddish proverb, “From your mouth to God’s ears.”
Etheridge is editor of the Coastal Courier. She lives in Ludowici with her husband, a sweet teddy bear of a rescue dog, and a grumpy cat that guards the house.