It isn#039;t Mayberry, but it sure is close

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 30, 2001

Ten years ago, I never thought that anyone would ever be able to convince me to move to a town with a population less than 500,000. From the time I left the sanctuary of my parents, I managed to live in some of the biggest cities in America, including New Orleans, New York, Jacksonville (Fla.) and Nashville. Moving to a small town was a welcomed change.

I have been in Greenville for only two weeks and many times as I drive through the city, I am constantly reminded of Mayberry , the hometown of Sheriff Andy Taylor

in The Andy Griffith Show. Greenville is much like that small town.

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In the little time that I have been here, I have managed to meet the mayor, the police chief, most of the city council, the county commission, the fire chief, the sheriff

none of whom I ever met in any of the other places I lived.

Another thing about Greenville that reminds me of Mayberry is that everyone waves

people in this town, I think, have never met a stranger. When the movers arrived at my apartment in Daphne, one of the first things they told me was &uot;people in Greenville don’t wave, they just lift one finger as they drive by.&uot; The movers were right, and that not-so-old memory just made me smile.

But, I’ve been smiling a lot since moving here, mainly because of the welcome that I have received not only from the staff at The Advocate, but also from the people of the town. I thank you all for that and hope to bring that smile to your faces when you read the paper.

Journalism has always been my passion. I think that passion exists because of the variety of people that I meet

and, because of my position at the newspaper and the number of people I am able to help.

My goal for this newspaper is to bring the news to the community.

However, not all news is bad, contrary to what much of today’s media may believe.

While working on my master’s degree at the University of South Alabama, I researched a &uot;supposed&uot; new wave in journalism called civic, or community, journalism. The mission of this type of journalism is to get the community involved with the newspaper. I guess I was nave in my academic years because I thought that was the responsibility of newspapers.

Upon first reading of civic journalism, I began to take notice of all news, from television to newspapers, and found that civic journalism is needed. I realized that the media in America had strayed from the original goals of America’s first newspaper, The Porcupine, which was published (much against the liking of the Mother Country)

in an effort to bring the colonists together. I realized then that

the time for that new wave was long past and I made a commitment to be a part of it.

But, this &uot;new&uot; type of journalism will not be possible without the help of the community.

I would like to hear it all

from complaints to compliments

that’s the only way to keep our community of Greenville strong.

So, I welcome your suggestions and look forward to hearing the voices of the community. Much like Sheriff Andy Taylor, keeping the community safe and strong is my main priority.