One thing that can be said about just about anything is that change is inevitable. It’s going to happen whether we want it to or not. And we humans don’t like change, even when that change is for the better.
We all say we are OK with it but let someone new come into our place of employment, our church, our scrapbooking club — pick any activity you wish — and even suggest that things be done differently. Our first knee-jerk reaction is to say “But we have always done it that way.”
Actually, you haven’t. And when you really think about it, the collective “we” of yesteryear probably didn’t do anything the way the current day We do it. Goodness knows old-timers are probably tied up in fits knowing that you aren’t doing (insert activity, procedure or process here) like they did.
Ah, the winds of change. We can try all we want to keep them from coming but they will. It’s inevitable. And while some changes do nothing more than make our lives much more complicated and task-weary, there are some that occur through the natural passage of time — as the times change, as society changes, as processes change, as personnel changes.
The Easley Progress and The Pickens Sentinel have longstanding histories in this county — 1902 for The Progress and 1871 for The Sentinel — and man, have they gone through some changes. From the way the newspaper itself is put together to the way news is reported, what the papers were back then is not what the papers are now — at least in the process of putting one together.
The one thing that has not changed over the course of time is the commitment to do what our forefathers surely wanted to do: report on what goes on in the county and its environs and to do that reporting as unbiased and with as much emphasis as possible on the people who call Pickens County their home.
You know what they say: People read papers. Cows don’t. But I digress. That’s another column for another day.
I have been involved with The Sentinel and The Progress for almost four years now. My entire career has been either working as a reporter or editor at small community daily papers or as a publisher. For The Progress and The Sentinel, I am both the regional editor and publisher, with the same oversight for sisters papers in Newberry and Union.
One thing I have learned over the years is that the easier it is for people to contribute to a publication, the more they will. Build up that relationship with your readers and suddenly you have a small army of people out and about, taking photos, writing stories, sending in information about this event and that event.
We know that in the past there have been employees who charged the public for anything they wanted in the papers. Some content we have to charge for — like engagements and weddings — but photos from your book club’s service project? Nope. Guest speakers at Rotary or Kiwanis? No, not those either.
Information on an event you want to publicize? Send it on. We will take care of it for you. Your grandson catch a 10 pound bass? Snap a photo, write it up and send it to us. We will get it worked into the papers as soon as we can.
If you do have something you want to submit, I welcome you to send it to EASnews@civitasmedia.com for The Progress or PICnews@civitasmedia.com for The Sentinel. High resolution digital photos are best plus make sure you include all the pertinent info — the who, the what, the when and the where — and a contact number in case I need to call you.
Oh, and if you would, make sure you spread the word. We’ve been telling people for almost four years that we love to get submissions from the community but there are still some folks out there who have not gotten the word.
See? Not all changes are bad. Like I said, change is inevitable. Growth, however, is optional. And in this case, we choose to grow.
Patricia M. Edwards is the group publisher of The Easley Progress and The Pickens Sentinel as well as sister publications The Union Times and The Newberry Observer. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.