04/01/05 — A personal note: Making way for the future

View Archive

A personal note: Making way for the future

Renee Carey seems to be a right smart young lady.

That is to say, she agrees with me a lot. We always admire the intelligence and excellent judgment of someone who reaches the same conclusions that we do, even if we know there is a chance that we’re wrong.

It’s a good thing Renee Carey is somebody I like. Otherwise, I’d be surly toward her. She’s moving in on my space. By the time you read this on Friday, she’ll be sitting in my office, at my desk, in my chair, doing my job.

I’m retiring, more or less. They are going to allow me to continue to contribute some editorials, and Mrs. Carey has promised that she’ll call on me for some other work from time to time.

But I won’t be the editor of the News-Argus anymore. She will. And that’s a thought that hits me with a thud.

It is difficult to step from one phase of our lives to another, and it is difficult to hand over responsibility and commitment that we have held dear for a long, long time.

But the passing of the torch is a part of the overall plan of the universe. All of us must move on to other things, and fighting it only prolongs the pain. We must let go when the time comes.

It is particularly difficult for me, because the people of the Wayne County area have blessed me with such kindness during my tenure here. News-Argus readers have supported the paper when it has been right, and when I have erred they usually chided me gently, with understanding.

I have appreciated our readers more than they could ever know, because the people who subscribe to a local newspaper are the ones who are truly concerned about their community. Thank you for that.

I also am grateful to our publisher, Hal Tanner Jr., for the great privilege of writing these editorials. It has been the greatest mission of my life, thanks to the latitude that Tanner has allowed me.

It is a privilege that has been granted to an elite few, and I have felt honored to be among them. They include Editor Emeritus Eugene Price, who gave me my first newspaper job, and his predecessor, the distinguished Henry Belk.

What is happening now — the addition to that list of Renee Carey — will be good for the paper and good for the community. It is well for the job to change hands from time to time to make way for new approaches, new vision and new energies.

The newspaper’s editorial policies will change little under Mrs. Carey, but otherwise she will make some changes. Most of them will be based on a scientific study that the News-Argus commissioned to learn more about the interests and tastes of the people in our community. It will be Mrs. Carey’s job to shape the paper’s content to those interests and tastes.

She is especially talented in graphics, and she will also make some improvements in the newspaper’s appearance.

The alterations will be introduced gradually, without causing readers confusion or making them feel that they are looking at someone else’s paper.

There will be some interesting changes, but the integrity of the News-Argus and its commitment to this community will be preserved. It’s hard to let go of the steering wheel but, frankly, I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Published in Editorials on April 1, 2005 8:43 AM