Time here has been meaningful

Published 5:03 pm Thursday, August 5, 2010

Friday marks my last day at The Clanton Advertiser in what has been a short but valuable learning experience in my young career as a journalist.

I recently graduated from the University of Alabama with a master’s degree in community journalism. For my first job as a professional journalist to fall directly in that category was an incredibly satisfying feeling, especially in a job market as unpredictable as ours.

As interim publisher upon Mike Kelley’s departure, Tim Prince took a chance on me to help this newspaper continue to serve Chilton County in new and progressive ways. I want to publicly thank him for giving me that opportunity, and I hope he and everyone else at Boone Newspapers, Inc., know I won’t ever forget where I got my start in the business.

The Advertiser staff has been equally nurturing and confident in my abilities as a storyteller and information provider in this community. Since last December, I’ve developed strong professional relationships with my editorial coworkers as well as all other essential members to what is an extremely hardworking organization.

I thank them all for their courtesy, support and professionalism.

What really drives us all, though, is the community to which we strive to deliver the news in what is hopefully a variety of ways. There is plenty of speculation on whether or not the print version of the newspaper will survive the age of ever-accessible electronic information. My experience in Clanton and other parts of the county suggest readers still want those thick, inky pages between their fingers in the mornings.

But I was always thrilled to see the impressive amount of online banter among Advertiser website users, never too shy to dish an opinion no matter the topic.

Thank you for reading our product, and thank you for being a part of it. Some citizens and city leaders are skeptical in some communities to serve as sources for even the simplest stories, but I never found that to be the case here. Everyone wanted to help.

So far, I regretfully admit I have yet to bite into a Chilton County peach in my time here. But something tells me that no matter how sweet it is, it may still not measure up to the hospitality given to me by this newspaper and community.