By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
We are making changes
Dee McLelland new

We are making changes here at the Coastal Courier.

People in general don’t like change. They don’t like someone tipping the apple cart, rocking the boat, messing things up. Believe me, I’ve been one of those people myself in the past. Not to age myself, but does anyone remember New Coke?

Newspapers began to take a backseat in the media business when they became afraid to change, to cancel things which were outdated, or, in fact served no valuable purpose whatsoever. That reluctance to change caused our business to slide into a backseat, and as I mentioned a few weeks ago, I believe we need to be up front and driving.

So we are going to make changes. Some may not agree with all of them, but they are being made to move us in the direction we need to go to deliver the kind of newspaper the community deserves. Many aspects of the Coastal Courier don’t need to be touched. They’re great. But we need to address certain editorial and business hurdles as we move forward.

We decided to discontinue the “Sound Off” portion of the newspaper for many obvious reasons, but my belief is that we have become a society in many ways who want to criticize without responsibility or hide behind anonymity. I believe if you say it, back it up. We do that with our newspaper each time we write a story and attach our name to it in the byline. We aren’t stopping Letters to the Editor, one of the most valuable and important parts of a newspaper, but rather, we are going to encourage them even more now. We at the Coastal Courier need to hear your opinions and your fellow residents need to read them. It’s in this fashion we can, as a community, form common ground on who we are, what our problems are and even more importantly, how we can solve those problems.

All Letters to the Editor must contain a name, address and phone number for our verification. As I like to say, “It’s not rocket surgery.” We will make sure the comments are being made by the person they claim to be. It’s the responsible thing to do. I personally may not agree, heck, the whole community may not agree with your thoughts and comments, but you certainly have the right to express them if you take the responsibility.

The Coastal Courier currently has many syndicated columnists whose opinions are varied. We will always strive to give views from all sides and I think it’s important that we receive local and state viewpoints which will help our community’s residents form their own opinions, which in turn leads to the kind of public discourse and debate we need.

As a community newspaper we encourage, and to be completely honest, we depend on your input as residents in our community. We know that your events, your projects, achievements and even setbacks are part of our day to day lives which we try to capture as part of our responsibility as the community newspaper.

I also encourage our local columnists to inject their personal life into their writing. It’s from their personal feelings and thoughts that our readers can begin to understand what they are thinking, and even more so, that they possibly have more in common and face the same problems as many others.

We are making changes here at the Coastal Courier and we are taking them on in a responsible way.

If you see me, say “Hey!”

Dee McLelland is the Publisher of the Coastal Courier and the Bryan County News. He can be reached at or 876-0156.



Sign up for our e-newsletters