I am prompted to write this editorial this week following a phone call asking that I print an apology for my editorial regarding teachers from last week. I answered the request with a "No" because the editorial piece was my opinion and I will not apologize for my opinion.
With that being said, I informed the caller that she could certainly write a letter to the editor to express her opinion and I would gladly print it. She declined. She also declined to provide her name at all, which is her choice.
It would have ended there and I would have gone on without stewing about it all morning if the caller had not proceeded to inform me how lax the Chronicle is reporting the news of Shepherdstown. So, I am taking the time now to give my opinion on that!
First, I would like to educate our readers who may not know about us. The Chronicle consists of two staff members: Kelly Cambrel and myself. Our positions are one full time and one part time, with that part time limited to a certain number of hours per week. I cannot say enough about the work done by Kelly Cambrel and her ability to get to so many town meetings, college functions, town events, etc. She reports on town council happenings, historic landmarks, planning commission-any town political meeting of relevance to the residents.
Between the two of us, we attend parades, concerts, lectures, special events, visit people for interviews, check in at the town hall, library, visitor's center, police station and other places we think may have news for us at any given time.
We rely heavily on the community to provide us with information about events and happenings going on because, between us, we simply cannot do it all. We provide a calendar of events each week as well as briefs and press releases on events that are submitted to us. We attempt to get in every piece of information forwarded even if we can't always do a full length feature story.
We are asked often to provide more sports. So, we have thankfully been able to pick up Bob Madison as our sports freelance writer. I know, not everyone wants more sports, but we try to accommodate all requests.
We attempt to garner information from the schools locally, however, we have met with limited success in being kept up to date on events within their walls. It would be a full-time job for someone to simply call daily or even weekly all the schools, churches and other civic and professional organizations out there to see if they happen to have any news. Again, that is why we rely on the community for their input. We ask you to let us know of things going on that you feel would warrant coverage and we will make every attempt to bring that coverage to you. But realize as well that we are only two and we can't do it all.
And as far as opinion pieces, please share your letters (signed) and we will be glad to run them. And we welcome your calls as well; however, it is nice to know who is telling you how poorly you do your job, so consider giving a name.