Serving readers is my pleasure

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 18, 2003

This is National Newspaper Week.

This week is important not only for newspaper employees, but for you, our readers to reflect on the role newspapers play in our society.

There are countries right now, in this day and age, where a newspaper reporter can be jailed for what he or she reports.

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In some cases, journalists have died for doing their jobs.

Most recently, there was the case of the Wall Street Journal's Daniel Pearl.

He was murdered by cowardly terrorists because he was doing his job.

He went out to get the story, and he died for the story.

Then, the cowards broadcast his murder on worldwide television.

They claimed a victory.

I see it as a victory for his profession.

Journalists are not perfect people, and few profess to be.

At times, we do makes mistakes, and we gladly correct them.

There are times when I wish that our readers could be present in our newsroom when we're working on deadline.

I wish you could see the dedication and drive that our staff puts in to make sure that we give you the facts.

That's the important part that we get the facts correct.

The rest is pretty wrapping.

I'm glad I chose journalism as my career.

It suits me well.

Growing up in Highland Home and Greenville, I never dreamed I would interview the people I've met over the years, or witness the things I've seen.

In the course of my career, I've been able interview former U.S. Pres. Jimmy Carter.

I've met and questioned the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

I've talked to people who have lost everything to a disaster.

I've listened as loved ones remembered family members who had died at the hands of another.

There have been good things, and there have been things I wish I could forget;

but all are locked away in my memory.

They also are locked away inside the pages of newspapers I've worked for in the past.

No, I'm not a perfect journalist.

I'm not a perfect editor.

However, I do strive daily to give you the facts as they are given to me.

For anyone to question the work of a newspaper, that person has never served at the pleasure of readers and that, my friends, is the greatest part of this job.

Happy National Newspaper Week.

Jay Thomas is the managing editor of The Greenville Advocate.

He can be reached at 383-9302, ext. 136 or via email at