Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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It costs nothing to be gracious

From time to time I reflect on my 10-year career in journalism and review what I’ve learned. Certainly, it is a long list of new knowledge I have gained, even though I am still a poor speller. That’s one of the things that shocks me because when I was younger, I was a spelling bee champ. No one could spell better than I could. I blame computers and spell check for doing this to me.

As many of you know, this industry is going through some hard times. A lot of companies and people are struggling, but the newspaper industry is in dire straits. I consider myself lucky that I work for a locally owned newspaper that continues to be the main source of news for this region. At least there is hope.

What’s funny is you can go to this site and see just how jaded some journalists have become. I glance through the site from time to time to see how bad it really is. I don’t know why I do it, but I do. I tend to get a few chuckles from it here and there.

However, one post today shows you how I feel:

Do you remember the first time your byline appeared in the paper? The fire time it made the front page? The first time you flashed your press credentials and they showed you through the door? I do. It was a thrill. It still is. It is within each of us to be a force of positivity or a force of negativity in this world. That’s what Walter Cronkite did for us. Even in times of emergency and disaster, he framed it in a manner appropriate to the situation. He let us know about the good amongst the bad. That events exist in a tapestry amongst the whole. Some of us have very real and immediate problems. Execution by Taliban extremists. Getting shot at by Iraqi militants. Tried and forced into labor camps by the North Korean government. People truly sacrifice for this noble profession. For most of us? It is a privilege to find ourselves in such august company, even if only for a little while. It costs nothing to be gracious.

Thanks angry journalist #9040. You made my day.


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