Inside the Messenger: overturning the money changers’ tables

Chad Hobbs:

Messenger Staff


 With Easter quickly approaching, it’s hard to find a church around the county, regardless of denomination, that isn’t turning its focus and soul towards Christ’s sacrifice upon the cross, which serves as the whole foundation of why the holiday came to be.

 Since I was a young boy attending St. Martin of Tours in Flaherty, there was always one reading that stuck out more than most at this time of year. Multiple gospel writers tell of Jesus walking into the temple and, with a chord in hand, running the livestock and money changers out as he overturned their tables with coins spilling onto the ground.

 It has always stuck out to me because it seems so out of character from everything else written about Jesus. For me, it translates as love your enemies, always try to turn the other cheek, but even the son of God had to kick over a table or two to get everybody’s attention and bring truth to the people.

 Anyone can kick over a table just for the sake of kicking it over, but I think we can all understand that was not the point Jesus was trying to convey. Such is the case of the Messenger, as of late. I am in no way trying to imply this paper or myself are walking imitations of Christ’s divinity. What I am saying is sometimes you have to turn stuff upside down to get to the bottom of things.

 As I stated in last week’s article, the purpose of this series is to take the reader behind the scenes and show some of the rhyme, reason, and motivation behind many of the changes being seen in regard to the Messenger.

The changes we are talking about mainly center around staff and our online presence. Anyone who has been in the office can attest that the day-to-day, in-house team consists of all new faces that came on board last year. We have also introduced a new web site/app, which will be discussed more in depth in coming weeks.

 As we step into the newsroom this week, you will find Seth and myself as the maintainers of this space. Crystal comes out from her role in advertising from time to time to assist, but otherwise it is Seth and I who are interviewing, photographing, researching, writing, and proofing everything that comes out of the newsroom from day to day.

With Seth coming on board last summer and myself last fall, the newsroom has developed not only a new look but a totally different philosophy, as well. In many ways, we are dueling banjos inside and out. When you meet us the first time, our differences are what probably stands out the most. As a team, however, we make a perfect pair. Strengths and likes for one of us are, more often than not, weaknesses or dislikes for the other one and vice versa, allowing us to offer up a more complete scope of news for all of our readers.

 Along the way, there have been some tables turned over in our search for truth, transparency, and accuracy in our reporting. It was definitely not because we wanted attention for the sake of attention. It is not a part of our newsroom culture. It is not political party base driven either. We talk politics, especially that of the county, on an almost daily basis, but it never revolves around party lines. To be honest, I couldn’t make an educated guess on what Seth is even registered as because party politics just doesn’t come up. Keeping the reader informed on what is going on is the only goal. Good, bad, or ugly; its reported on as is regardless of party or person. Neither of us take lightly the fact that we are writing tomorrow’s history, today, which is all too evident when we thumb through old Messenger’s to put together stories or clips from the past.

 Starting on Wednesday, we set down and take a look at everything that is coming up, leads we have received, and stories we need to have for the following week. Between calls we make and calls we receive; we both take off across the county in pursuit of interviews. Once those are obtained and the recordings are transcribed, the writing begins. We then proof and layout the articles, all while keeping an ear to any developing stories around the county. Friday is public record day and a good majority of it is spent collecting information from various offices and agencies for compilation. Weekends fly by as we juggle personal time and event coverage so we can get everything ready on Monday for the paper layout on Tuesday. Then it’s off to the presses.

 Our job is to keep our readers informed of everything that is going on in our community and let you, the reader, make an informed decision on the matters at hand. Sometimes, you can’t just write the fluff pieces when telling the whole story. One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from Meade Countians is they are tired of whitewashed news about what’s going on in our government. Good or bad, they just want the truth and transparency they deserve. Sometimes, you have to turn over a table or two to get that, unfortunately, but that’s what our newsroom here is dedicated to providing for our readers. One more reason why for 57 cents a week, the Meade County Messenger is one of the best deals around.

 The solutions to a community’s problems are often found within that same community. We don’t take lightly our love for this county or the search for truth and transparency that we offer our loyal subscribers.

see story here (week 11)

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