I'm going to start off with my event picks for the weekend.
Check out Mount Olivet United Methodist Church's ice cream supper, which is 5 p.m. Saturday. Also on Saturday is United Way's “Stuff the Bus” school supply collection 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Walmart.
Lots of local families are in need of school supplies. That was evident when the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer held its annual supply drive on Thursday. They ran out in the first hour, but were able to replenish supplies for more waiting in need.
Speaking of giving things away, this is awards week for Tennessee newspaper journalists. It's great to be alive as a newspaper reporter.
Though the mechanics of newspapers has somewhat changed, the heart of stories and their human interest still beat the same. We still have many loyal readers and for that, I'm truly grateful.
What's so cool about that? We're a community built on diversity. Newspapers were founded in order that a diversity of views could be printed on issues and well, about life.
These days, subscribers have the option of reading the newspaper in electronic form. I still have a lot of people tell me, and I feel the same, that they like that tangible paper.
I was so happy when a group of ladies at a luncheon recently told me they savor their newspaper. One said she saves part of her Saturday edition for Sunday reading, since we do not publish Sundays now.
What a great idea!
Professionally, I've had a good week and have received lots of encouragement to continue writing. I appreciate the reader who told me Thursday she appreciates my stories for their “down-to-earth” quality.
I also appreciate the award placements that the Tennessee Press Association gave the Times-Gazette this week. Mark McGee, my editor a few short years ago, and I, received a collective first place for local features.
There were several other places in various categories presented to the Times-Gazette and several respective T-G writers received their just awards, including our sports department.
We have a hard-working team. We cover all aspects of Bedford County and Shelbyville life.
You never know when a story about a young soccer player; a couple loving one another for 62 ½ years; and a story about a small church providing food and clothing to the needy will tug at the heart strings of a reader.
We're called to listen to gardeners, pastors, students and others who have a special story to tell. You know, everybody really has a life story just waiting to be published.
If I were going to select someone who supported me entering this field, I would have to say that would be my former Middle Tennessee State University journalism professor David Badger. You were a great professor “Mr. B.” to a green, budding journalist, so I share my latest TPA certificate.
When I was in the school of journalism, newsrooms looked a little different. I'm glad we've come a long way, baby.
Newsrooms will hopefully continue to strive toward greater professionalism. I'm thankful for our paper and how it serves its local community.
Budding women journalists (I know you're still out there) just remember in case you were to watch oldies TV, that the days of “Marys” weeping in front of their “Mr. Grants” is over, at least for me. Gone are also the smoke-filled newsrooms filled with gender disdain.
Or, at least they should be passe. I'm just saying . . .
Women have assumed a greater role in the production of the free press over all the years. The right for women journalists to be respected fell literally on the backs of great predecessors like Ann Franklin and Ida B. Wells Barnett and not to mention all those who've fought for gender equality.
Speaking of women's equality, The 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which guarantees and protects a woman's constitutional right to vote, will be celebrated in 2020.
Local schools are required by the state to have programs and or instruction about women's suffrage. This will teach children correctly, not by rumor mill or hearsay, how women truly gained their constitutional right to vote.
Many of the same school kids tour our newsroom each year. I pray that at least some will be encouraged, by those a little more seasoned, to enter the field of print journalism in the future. I won't lie, we are a different breed, but today, we're not dying.
Here's your sunshine for the week: There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil. Thomas Jefferson.