Keeping tabs on the media

Every once in a while, something I write in the newspaper strikes a nerve. Sometimes its a good one, other times’not so good. A column I wrote in the July 4 edition seems to be one of those that strikes both. As many of you read in Tuesday’s edition, a correct and factual follow-up to the million $$ reflectors column explained in detail why I, like many others, had a misconception that our tax dollars were being mismanaged as far as the Texas Department of Transportation goes. Well, it appears as if my column offended more than a few people. It also got the attention of more than a few readers as being a bit entertaining. I know this because both sides have let me know. Tuesday’s letter submitted by Kyle Moseley was a well written and informative letter. It enlightened me and many others as well. A second letter, submitted by Wilton Watson of D.I.J. Construction, Inc. in Bertram, also sheds some additional light on the subject. One thing I enjoy most about the newspaper business is the vast array of experiences in which I am able to take part. From getting up close and personal with bulls in a rodeo arena to riding with police and EMS personnel to playing golf on stellar courses, it all is done in the name of the media. Lucky me. You see, for me to write a factual and informative news story, I must get to know the subject of my story as well as I possibly can. Henceforth, I relish the “have to” assignments that take me any number of places that normal people do not have the privilege or opportunity to be. For me to write a column, however, it is simply a matter of what I see and what words flow from my head through my fingertips onto the keyboard. Most of those words come from something that inspires me personally or on the contrary, really gets my goat. As you can read from the letter at right, Mr. Watson has invited me to participate in the daily grind of raised pavement marker installation. Another story opportunity. What better way to get an insider’s view of something many people know very little about’ I do not yet know if I will accept Mr. Watson’s invitation. I guess a lot will depend upon the actual days he and his company are coming through Brady. I can say however, it does make me a bit nervous, something I made light of in my previous writing. Think about it, six inches off the pavement facing 70+ m.p.h. oncoming traffic on a highway in Central Texas. I guess what makes me nervous about that is exactly why these companies use five trucks and a bunch of blinking lights and nifty contraptions. Just the other day, I personally experienced the fatal accident on Hwy. 71 that claimed the life of a teenager. That accident happened because someone was not paying attention. All in all, I guess I have accomplished one thing’I have increased the awareness of what the TxDOT and related work crews do on a daily basis. It may not have been done in the way which would have best served all parties involved, but it has certainly drawn its fair share of attention. Hopefully, just as many people will read the facts as submitted by Mr. Moseley and Mr. Watson. (I can’t help but think that letters to the editor mean that people really are reading this paper’and that is why we are here.) That being said, I will reiterate what I have told many people before. My goal as a newspaper editor is to provide accurate and truthful news to the reader. If something printed is not truthful or accurate, I will most certainly make sure it is corrected and or clarified. I also aim to entertain the reader for without a bit of humor, life is dull and drab. Life is too short not to laugh, smile and enjoy each and every day. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that. So if anyone has any issues with things printed in this newspaper that they believe to be inaccurate or untruthful, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line, email me or stop me on the street. I can take it. Mind you, editors are much more receptive to kind suggestions than they are to terse tongue-lashings. So to all of you out there who continue to read our publication, thanks for checking on us and holding our feet to the fire. Truth in the media is something that must be upheld at all levels. Now, if I can only get the national news media to follow the same standards.’JS

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