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Samantha Jones

Sam's Notebook

Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is CCNNews@cox-internet.com

Loving your input

Friday, July 26, 2019

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to speak to the Holiday Island Rotary Club. They served me breakfast, gave me a new pen and were great company. I talked too long as always, but the best part of my presentation was hearing from the Rotary members about the kind of coverage theyíd like to see in their community newspaper.

The suggestions were varied ĖĖ some suggested more features, while others said theyíd like to read in-depth exposes. Though Iím not sure if we can cover all those things, I am certainly grateful to hear what the the community would like to see. I learned we are doing some things right and could do a few things better. Everyone said they love reading the police logs, a sentiment Iíve heard many times in the community.

Leaving the meeting, I realized how easy it can be to work in a vacuum. I donít get to hear from the community like that every day, unless somebody takes their time to email me, call or stop by. That doesnít happen a whole lot ĖĖ I hope that means we are doing our job right, but you never really know until you hear from those who live in our county and read our paper.

Every now and then, someone takes the time to email me about something Iíve written. I received one such email last week in response to my column about the U.S. Womenís Soccer Team seeking equal pay. The writer disagreed with my view but did so respectfully. I canít say the email changed my opinion, but it certainly showed me the value of respectful discourse. To the person who sent me that email, thank you for taking your time to write. I always appreciate input, even when itís not an echo chamber.

Lately Iíve been thinking about that kind of discourse and how it seems to be dying. Our country is becoming increasingly divisive. Sometimes it feels impossible to connect with someone who doesnít share every single one of your views, and that makes me sad. We all have something in common. Listening to a different perspective doesnít mean you have to change your mind ĖĖ†quite the opposite, actually.

Respectful discourse looks like neighbors who care about one another but donít agree on everything. We are lucky to still have that in Carroll County. I see it frequently through my job, especially when you guys send in letters or emails. Donít ever think your input isnít valuable. We always appreciate hearing from the community, because thatís the only way we know we are representing whatís happening in our county accurately.

I hope this column can give some of you a new perspective. Thank you for reading, and donít hesitate to send input if you have it.