After four years as the editor of the Eagle Bulletin newspaper, it is time for me to say goodbye. I have resigned my position and will be moving on after Jan. 4. It was not an easy decision to leave, but circumstances led me to see its propriety.
I have always striven to give you, our readers, a paper filled with the news and views you want and deserve. Community newspapers are different than larger publications because they have a hyper-local focus. We have reported not only on the municipal actions and major crimes, but also on the school district musicals, on the new job or the promotion received by a community members, on the wedding anniversaries and the marriage announcements.
I know that we have had our differences over the years, with readers occasionally objecting to how or why we cover certain news, or the editorial opinions I have espoused. But I have been and always will be more of a hard-nosed journalist than some. I cover the news that needs covering, regardless of who is angry or offended by it. I hold people accountable for their words and deeds, which is, in the end, a major part of my job, but that job is not malevolent, it is simply empirical.
To me, a community newspaper, if it is done well and properly, is nothing less than the north star of its community — it informs, illuminates, guides and inspires its readers.
A community newspaper editor is the voice of the community, as well as the community conscience, cheerleader, castigator, instigator, educator, entertainer, devil’s advocate, social critic, lightning rod, whipping boy, and occasionally even soothsayer. What does all this mean in a practical sense? It means to be a great community newspaper editor one must balance and respect all these roles he must play; he must know what the community wants and give it to them, and sometimes show them what they need and inspire them to strive for it. In short, being a community newspaper editor is one hell of a job.
The great newsman William Allen White wrote in 1918, “A newspaper’s good name is its chief asset, it brings not only circulation but power and prosperity. There isn’t anything else in the newspaper business as sure as that axiom.” I would like to think that the good name of the Eagle Bulletin remained intact, and even became elevated, during my editorial tenure.
Thank you all for embracing me as your editor these past four years. It has been an honor.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.