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Thursday, May 23, 2024 at 12:18 AM
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Do you know my responsibilites?

This column represents the thoughts and opinions of Jason Hennington. This is not the opinion of the Taylor Press.

As a writer, it is my responsibility to listen to all sides of a story and write it evenly so readers can make their own decision.

As a reporter, it is my responsibility to understand all sides before I write a story, so that it makes sense and is not biased or unfair.

As an editor, it is my job to review, edit and determine if a story is appropriate for the paper.

That includes deciding if a story goes in the paper and its placement.

I am also the final say on headlines, which is an important piece to a story. A headline catches the reader’s attention, but also gives a glimpse of what the story is about. We do not sensationalize headlines for clicks online or just to grab people.

Sometimes we try to use clever wordplay on headlines, but we are not misleading readers.

As a newspaper, we have a responsibility to the community and to the First Amendment to be accurate and fair.

Not everyone likes or understands that duty.

On the other hand, there are people who understand but think everything that happens is a story.

Unfortunately, everything is not a story.

Over my years as a journalist, I have built relationships with different entities, organizations, community members and dignitaries, but not because I cover everything they mention. I am willing to listen and research a situation, but that doesn’t mean it will turn into a front page article. Sometimes it takes a little digging and time for a story to manifest out of a situation. It may even turn to a completely different story.

Over the past few years, the Taylor City Council has been active. Do I agree with everything they have done? It doesn’t matter if I do or do not, we are still going to cover it. That also means we are going to cover the reaction of the community. Many times, we don’t have to go looking for comments on that, residents bring it to us.

With the reporters we have on staff and the freelancers we have, the Taylor Press has elevated its level of writing. Stories go deeper than before and involve more outreach to the community and beyond.

That’s not all because of me though. I’m the editor, but I also have a boss to report to, and he has no problem letting me know when I’m off-base or headed in the wrong direction. That’s part of his responsibility.

I respect and understand that.

To sum it all up, there is a level of responsibility for everyone involved in the newspaper – writers, readers, editors – and that’s what makes newspapers special and important. While not everyone agrees or likes what they read in the paper, the responsible thing is to understand why it’s there. Not to push an agenda or lean one way or another, it’s to provide all the information and let you decide what you think.

I’m going to get off my soapbox now and watch another episode of “One Piece” on Netf lix. If you are not watching that show, you’re missing out.

“The price of greatness is responsibility.”

— Winston Churchill


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