Walking down memory lane

Sitting at Macon City Auditorium on my birthday last week at a concert, I was transported back in time to high school days. Days of skating to music at the skating rink. Days of dancing in my room with my mom as the stereo played.
Whatever other memories I have with my mom, those days we danced to music are some of the best. We laughed as we tried the latest dance moves and as we sang along with the record. Time seemed to stand still and it was always a good day when mom wanted to play the stereo and dance.
The concert was The Three Dog Night, a band which was formed in 1967 when I was still in grammar school. At that time vocalists where Danny Hutton, Cory Wells and Chuck Negrom. Also part of the band was Jimmy Greenspoon on keyboards, Joe Schermie on bass, Michael Allsup on guitar and Floyd Sneed on drugs. Schermie died in 2002 and Greenspoon in 2015. Eddie Reasoner took over on keyboards but was replaced by Howard Laravea in 2017. Wells also died in 2015 and David Morgan joined the group on the road.
With the exception of the drummer, Paul Bautz, and Laravea on the keyboard the band members are in their 70s. Regardless of age, they rocked the house last week. The concert was actually much better than I anticipated. Of course they sang One, An Old Fashioned Love Song, Joy to the World and others everyone remembers.
One of the best things about the night, was that I was sharing it with ladies I have known for over 40 years; one of them longer since we went to grammar school together. All five of these ladies love the Lord and we had a wonderful time celebrating my birthday yes, but just being together.
I was reminded that it’s the quality of people in your life who make a big difference and can decide whether your life is peaceful or full of drama. I’m so blessed these days my life is mostly peaceful even in the middle of chaos. I have several good friends who help keep me encouraged on those days when I’m just not feeling it.
I had to take a semi-hiatus from social media. I used to post positive, encouraging things, mainly shared from elsewhere. I even got grief for being too upbeat all the time. Plus the hate spewed during the election was affecting my mental health which in turn can make you physically sick. I’m one of those let’s fix it, move forward and can’t we all just get along type of people and I saw no way to fix or stop the hate spewing. Therefore, I quit going on social media as much and it has made a difference. I don’t even really miss it.
Because of work I do check it but not just as much and when not working, hardly at all. I have a ministry page, A Light in the Darkness, which I try to post on every day, but other than that, not so much.
People have become addicted to social media and/or their phones. They have to constantly be on them or checking them. It’s not good for you emotionally or physically. I recently read something that said we are also causing more mental illness in our young people allowing them to have a phone at too young an age and letting them be on social media. I believe it because I witness it.
I don’t think you should post your business on social media, nor should you carry on back and forth in an unhealthy diatribe of remarks. A healthy debate is one thing but debating with someone who only wants to come back at you and not just for discussion sake, is unhealthy for all involved.
Social media is also causing us to be unsocial and greatly negatively impacts our social skills. Put down the phone and interact with your family. A real phone conversation is better than a text message. Reach out and touch someone with a phone call today.
Try this experiment: unhook from social media for a couple of weeks and see if your disposition doesn’t improve. You won’t feel as anxious either.
I’ve shied away from political posts as much as possible, even though I believe I’m entitled to my beliefs and opinions. Every single time I’ve posted something, it has come back to bite me. Just prior to my semi-hiatus, one of my cousins unfriended me because I agreed with stopping the caravan and not allowing them in the United States. They felt these people were hurting, underprivileged and needed asylum. I didn’t and still don’t. Most had cell phones, new clothes and shoes and I believe they should have tried to make a difference in their own country. I also believe they were paid to wreak havoc but that’s my opinion and you don’t have to agree. I’ll still love you even if you don’t agree with me.
Life is just way too short for all of this nonsense and in the bigger scheme of things, differences of opinion aren’t that big of a deal, unless you make it that way. I won’t.
Wishing you peace of mind and blessings.

VICTORIA SIMMONS Is a columnist, author, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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A lesson from the Pilgrims

Thanksgiving for me is an every day occurrence because you can always find something for which to be thankful. I used to post those things for which I was thankful on social media every day in November. I decided we should be thankful every day. Yes, even in today’s wacky, upside down world we live in. We should take a page from the Pilgrim’s book on Thanksgiving.
They arrived in New England during late December, a few days before Christmas. The men went to work immediately building houses. Women, children and those who were ill, remained on the Mayflower for another two weeks.
That first winter, starvation, lack of shelter and scurvy took 45 of the 102 immigrants. There were 18 adult women and 13 of them died that winter and one more that May. That meant for the first Thanksgiving the following fall, there were only four adult women living. Yet, they were thankful. The next two years were still lean and starving days for the Pilgrims even though they celebrated that year with Thanksgiving for having made it through. Had they continued in the same way, the whole colony most likely would have starved to death.
You see they had decided to remain as one and to abide to common consent in determining what was best for the community. This was a new concept, a democracy as you will, which was the first step for what would eventually become a republic. This was established by the Mayflower Compact with everyone having a common voice and all obeying the decision of the majority. If they did not agree they could not go their own way.
The result of that was the end of the free market system. It gave them no reason to excel because everyone shared in everything, no matter if some had put more effort into it. This is the heart of socialism. Collective will (mandated share the wealth) corrupts into socialism, which destroys incentive to produce or excel. This in turn leads to shortages and the masses demanding an equal share of what is produced. Since production was lessened, there was not enough to share. This leads to a bankrupt society.
We have talked ourselves into and history has lead us to thinking the Pilgrims enjoyed an abundance of food that Thanksgiving. It was not their truth or reality.
Harvests were not bountiful for at least three years and nearly half of those arriving died. Plymouth also became besieged by laziness and thievery. To alleviate the hunger they were experiencing, many resorted to stealing food.
They did fill their bellies that first Thanksgiving, and though they were grateful, it was briefly lived.
It wasn’t until 1623 that the crops became bountiful, along with those that followed. Governor William Bradford stated that God had given them plenty and that changed the face of things. Their hearts rejoiced for which they blessed God.
What had made a difference for them? They deserted the notion of government owning the means and production and distribution of goods. Instead they chose for the individual to have property and being responsible for taking care of themselves.
Those who chose not to work were choosing to be poor and the government no longer confiscated from those who produced to give to those who did not.
In short, government handouts ended and you worked for what you had and became responsible for your own self. Had they not changed their philosophy, we might have never heard about the Pilgrims because all would have perished.
There’s a lesson in there for us today as well. I still firmly believe those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. Our country is edging closer and closer to socialism and if you don’t believe that, look no further than the recent midterm elections. Florida and Georgia both almost lost to socialists who have invaded and taken over the democratic party. They sell their wares under the guise of progress and it is bought by many who refuse to think for themselves or do any research into what is happening. This generation, including the media, doesn’t realize that these ideas are not new at all and are actually socialist notions.
There used to be a Socialist Party, but they knew that most Americans understood what socialism meant and would keep them out of our government. Therefore to further their cause, they decided to infiltrate one of the parties and the Democrats were the most likely candidates. They snuck quietly in over the past 30 or so years and no one was the wiser.
You see they understand that who controls the information, controls the world. So, they also infiltrated the media, the already liberal Hollywood and our universities. By taking over the media, they are taking over America and many in the media don’t even realize it so they don’t report it. Sadly, it is also infiltrating some churches.
Many in the older generation do recognize it but with each passing generation, our country falls deeper and deeper to socialism. These tactics have transformed society’s consciousness.
I am convinced there will eventually be a One World Order as the older generation dies out and the progress chant grows louder and louder with its hidden agenda.
But not now, and hopefully not on my watch. Those who know better must stand up and be counted. We must fight against the socialist takeover. My favorite form of warfare is on my knees as the results are endless. Let’s join together in prayer.

VICTORIA SIMMONS Is a columnist, author, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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This journalist agrees

As a journalist, I don’t particularly like taking other journalists to task. There used to be like a kindred club of sorts where we all felt like we belonged and we just didn’t say anything about the others. We all worked together in a spirit of cooperation. But that has long since changed as the mainstream media, has gotten away from everything I was taught at the Henry W. Grady School of Journalism.
One association of journalists has even told us we should be standing up for each other. I don’t have a problem with that until it becomes unethical and starts harming the public. Fake news harms the public and news for the sake of having a story does the same.
Journalists are to be unbiased as possible, not have opinions in stories and certainly not insert themselves into the story. Though Professor Chisolm instilled in us we are not to be biased, I once challenged her and said once you put a lead on a story, you have, in a sense biased it. She looked like she was in shock at first, then a smile came across her face and she said, yes I was right in a sense. We never did talk about what “in a sense” meant but I got the point about being non-biased in covering stories and meetings.
Unfortunately, as journalists, all of us are lumped in together when it comes to media bashing. There is a big difference in community journalism and mainstream journalism.
Mainstream journalism has taken the turn of including opinion in the stories, sometimes to get better ratings. It’s a shame when they care more about ratings than integrity.
People want to blast President Trump over the Jim Acosta incident. Well, personally, to me, Acosta was way out of line. First of all, as journalists, we should be showing respect to those people we are interviewing or asking questions of, especially the POTUS. Respect goes with the office to a certain extent.
Acosta and other mainstream media members have taken to “baiting” the president with questions they know he will over-react to so they can draw attention to themselves. Yes, I sometimes wish Trump would just not react at all and let it go, but he is getting attacked from all angles and can’t catch a break, so I kind of get his reactions. You feel like you have to defend yourself.
Being allowed in the White House briefings is a privilege and if you abuse it as Acosta has, then you no longer have that privilege.
Jim Acosta is an egotistical narcissist who not only inserts opinion, innuendos and bias into stories, he also injects himself into the story. That is deplorable and irresponsible as a journalist. He never should have touched the aid either and when asked to give up the microphone, you respectfully comply. I think I would have had him removed right then and there and would not have let him in either. I’m glad his press pass for the White House has been revoked. We don’t need journalists stirring up more hate and trouble every time we turn around. Mainstream media needs to get over itself. They poster themselves like many elitists as if it’s their right to say and do whatever they want in interviews.
Freedom has responsibility and when you throw that responsibility to the wind, then there are consequences.
I personally agree with the President’s assertion that the caravan is an invasion. Acosta wanted to take the President to task about that and then began lecturing him in an I know better than you tone of voice. Really! Who does Acosta think he is. Well, if you’ve followed him you would know he thinks the world revolves around him. More than once he has violated journalism’s oldest rule — don’t become part of the story.
It’s obvious to me that Acosta and some other mainstream media journalists don’t really care about the truth of a matter to report at all. They now wear their bias against Trump on their shirt sleeves like the Nazi’s wore their swastika on their sleeves. Professionalism for them has been thrown out the window.
Think back. Did any of them act that way toward even Clinton or Obama? No and if they had there would have been major backlash. Even if they didn’t agree with them, they never would have dared accuse them publicly of anything and certainly would argue with or interrupt them. They were respectful, regardless. By the way, Obama had a reporter physically removed from a press conference during his term.
Not only are they making the rest of us look bad, they are fueling the public’s declining trust of the media and resistance to the First Amendment. Is that what they really want? I think not, but I could be wrong.
Our country has serious problems and enemies which need to be solved and worked on together. Not only is the President having to fight with the likes of Pelosi and McConnell, he has to deal with vain, narcissist media personnel.
These narcissists chasing their own vanity have turned these press conferences into something they were never meant to be in the first place – a sideshow. They are adding fuel to the flames of disrespect in our country and should instead be trying to set an example and get on board with striving for unity in our nation. Acosta called for journalists to march in protest and shout “we aren’t the enemy of the people. Well, Jim, actions speak louder than words and from one journalist (I use than word loosely in your case) to another, your actions say otherwise. You want respect; then start acting respectful. Man up and quit whining.©2018

VICTORIA SIMMONS Is a columnist, author, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Time to connect the dots

By the time you read this the mid-term elections will be over — thank you Jesus! I don’t think I could have taken another of those awful commercials and this year they were the worst ever, from all sides really.
It has been my prayer that we elect leaders who love God and country and will continue the progress being made. If you don’t realize how good the economy has been, you must be living in outer space. If you vote for someone who does not match your values and ethics and goes against God’s word, it might be a good time to get heavily back into the Word and ask God to show you the truth. Yes, we are held accountable for the choices we make, even in the election booth.
It’s been two years since Trump was elected and many Democrats are still crying over it and are so honed in on destroying him, they in effect, are destroying America instead.
I’m convinced, now more than ever, that the deep state, a shadow government, if you will, does exist. Do the homework; research everything that’s going on and you may come to the same conclusion, because otherwise, nothing else makes sense. Years ago, I laughed at this premise.
The deep state would be “a hybrid association of elements of government and parts of top-level finance and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process”.
It truly makes sense because those who break the law, like the Clinton’s are not in jail. George Soros as well as the Rothschild family are part of this phenomenon.
The term, which emerged toward the end of the 20th century, was originally used to describe a shadow government in Turkey that disseminated propaganda and engaged in violence to undermine the governing party, often coordinating with people who were not part of the government. Sound familiar here these days?
There are questions which keep coming to mind like why does the government and pharmaceutical companies push so hard on immunizations, flu shots and other medications all the time. How can the democrats keep calling for violence and inciting hate and continue to keep their cushy jobs? How can someone vote for a person who spews hate and calls for violence against people?
There are internal forces influencing too many things. In fact, external forces seemed to have combined with these internal forces to advance particular agendas.
Yes, it is scary to think that a cabal outside the normal political realm is making decisions with no respect to what the American people want. But that seems to be the case with all that’s happening around us. Unfortunately, they seem to be making progress in working against our president.
Let’s regress a little and consider a few things. George Bush, during his presidency did face some resistance but he was able to operate a functional government. At no time were whole agencies working against him. That’s pretty typical though during a presidential administration. There may be one or two rogue individuals within agencies but never an entire agency.
That was not the case during Obama’s presidency though. He did not have any agencies working against him and they were a little too cooperative in fact. They attacked any political opposition as well. It’s just not normal to not have some opposition or some rogue individuals within agencies. Some might say this was a breach of ethics that borders on criminal behavior.
Now, here we are in the Trump administration. There are whole agencies leaking partial information which is designed to damage the president. They are engaging in costly, partisan investigations against him and colluding against him. Such widespread collusion is not the norm for administrations.
I could go on about the Mueller probe but it is just so ludicrous and is costing so much money, it blows one’s mind. I’m hoping in the end that Mueller himself is indicted and believe there are grounds for it.
Hitler’s propaganda minister said that propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident they are acting on their own will. How that so applies to mainstream media. Instead of covering stories they should cover, they also take up the bash Trump mantle. Therefore, we hardly hear about any good that is being done or any progress being made. Yes, I agree with Trump, the mainstream media has become an enemy of the people. It’s how dictators control the people.
It has been proven that Clinton and the DNC colluded with the media inappropriately. We know this thanks to the WikiLeaks release of the DNC and podesta emails. Major outlets were in contact the Clinton campaign to ensure coverage of her was positive and they even coordinated stories. Only a fascist regime would direct the media on what to report and how to report during an election year.
Trump is getting bashed for doing or saying things that Clinton and Obama both previously agreed with and stated so publicly during their reign. In short the rich fund the politicians who appoint the officials who work against the opposition while the media ignores the scandals and the famous instruct the masses what to think and then tech companies control the flow of information. Sounds crazy and convoluted I know. But if you start connecting the dots, even if they don’t seem related, they are in one way or another. It’s time criminal behavior was exposed within government and arrests made. It’s something we the people should demand.
VICTORIA SIMMONS Is a columnist, motivational speaker, author, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Thinking for ourselves

If you haven’t already, you can still vote early through today (Friday). Then election day is November 6th so if you don’t do so early, go on that day. Your vote does matter. People staying home and not voting is how we get the undesirable elected. It’s not only your right, it’s a privilege. I realize with all the negativity and hate going around, it sometimes makes you not to even want to bother. But we must. Otherwise, we don’t have a right to complain about who gets elected.
I cannot stand to watch the ads on TV. They are just so hateful to me. Why can’t politicians just tell us what they are going to do and not lambaste the opponent? Turns me off for voting for them, but unfortunately these days, they all practically do it so you have to choose the lesser of two evils many times.
It is unbelievable the money spent by candidates trying to get elected. I have a problem with movie stars coming in to our state to try and influence how we should vote. They should stay in Hollywood and let us make up our own minds. Usually if one of them is for something, I am against it.
I also don’t believe politicians should be allowed to accept political contributions from outside of the state in which they are running. We don’t need other state’s telling us how to vote either. As Georgians we should know what’s best for us not someone living in another state with totally different issues and problems. It’s also not a level playing field in that department when you have a billionaire from another state backing a candidate.
Maybe there should just be more regulations in place concerning political donations and campaign spending. I don’t pretend to really know the answer but something does need to change I think.
I’m sorry but I also think former presidents should just sit down and be quiet. That’s what most of them do, but lately a couple are speaking up. They had their chance to get something done and they need to let the current president do his thing without interference. It’s kind of like a new preacher taking over and the former preacher still being in the congregation. This usually causes problems because some people still go to the former pastor.
People voting for those people who call for violence or use hate speech, I don’t get either. It’s a crazy world we live in these days that’s why I pray, pray, pray. God is truly our only help.
Voting along party lines just because you’ve always done that or your grandparents did it, doesn’t make sense to me either. We were given a brain and we need to use it to think for ourselves.
For government by the people, the people need to know what the government is doing. That doesn’t mean taking it at face value either or listening to the news. As much as I hate to admit it most of those news sources are biased, in fact I’m pretty sure all the national media sources are, unfortunately.
You have to do the research yourself and sift through all the nonsense. Yes, it takes time but it is so worth it. You can’t necessarily discount things that might seem far-fetched to you either. While I don’t give credence to all conspiracy theories, I have to say I believe that the deep state does exist and there is something going on there we don’t see or know. Nothing else makes much sense otherwise. There is definitely something going on behind the scenes and it boils down to good vs. evil.
When something is going on to stir the masses and then a shooting or something else happens to get your focused on something else, you have to wonder what really is going on.
Yes, I do believe George Soros funds politicians and is trying to destroy our country. He’s not alone as many others have become his cronies and the Rothchilds are included in this desire to destroy our country.  I don’t get it. Socialism hasn’t worked well in other countries. It only benefits those who are touting its the way to go. Just look at socialistic countries and you will get a pretty good  dismal picture.
You just can’t offer free programs for everyone because sooner or later someone has to pay for these programs; it is usually the working middle class who is hit the hardest. It may sound like a good idea, but in reality it’s not at all. Sooner or later the piper has to be paid. And sooner or later other people’s money runs out.
Usually, before the money does run out, citizens are hit with higher taxes, fees and wealth confiscation has already taken place. The economy tanks, unemployment rises and the downward spiral continues. All the while, government spending doesn’t stop.
America has always been about determination and grit. It made us great. It seems more and more of our young people are being lured into an existence where the state takes care of our needs relieving us from the need to get better, overcome adversity and to be great.
Socialism promises prosperity, equality and security. In reality it brings poverty, misery and tyranny. There might be equality but only in the sense that everyone becomes equal in their misery. Socialism just doesn’t work, literally.

VICTORIA SIMMONS is a columnist, motivational speaker, author, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Yes, journalism is important still

In spite of efforts by the mainstream media to totally ignore some things which need reporting and beat to death some things which don’t deserve so much attention, journalism still matters. Especially at a weekly community newspaper.
You may not want to know about the latest ribbon cutting or who made honor roll at the school, but there are some people who want to know these things. Both items are accomplishments and something which deserve recognition. Perhaps the business owner having the ribbon cutting, is fulfilling a lifelong dream. The child on the honor roll may not ever have their name in the paper again, but they did at least once.
Community newspapers are writing the history of the community. When covering a boring meeting that goes on forever and nothing seems to get accomplished, I remind myself of that fact. The very fact that meeting was held is part of the community’s history.
When people come into the office to research information and sometimes find very little, I remind myself we need to make sure those things are included so there will be some kind of record.
Community newspapers and the journalism with it are important. The people in the community are important and that’s why the newspaper matters.
In this week’s edition are the constitutional amendments which will be on the November ballot. Grab a copy and read them so you will know what you are voting on when you step up to cast your ballot.
Not everything we report is fun or easy or positive. Sometimes things are said in meetings or done which the public needs to know that are not in a positive light. Even local officials sometimes say the wrong thing. When we report it, they may be embarrassed or wished they hadn’t said it. You can bet they will think about what they say a little more next time.
In the era of social media and fake news, local journalism takes on an even greater importance. It’s important we get the facts right; it’s important we are covering meetings and it’s important we bring an injustice to light when a governing agency doesn’t want to be forthcoming.
Stories are sometimes heart-wrenching and it becomes hard to remove ourselves from it but we do it the best we can. But those stories must be covered. It’s important they are reported.
We ask questions and sometimes don’t get answers or get told, no one cares about the answer. When we request information and get treated as if we have just asked for something too personal, we have to wonder why the response was like that. As the Fourth Estate, we are watchdogs for the community. I have always told my reporters to follow the money. The money belongs to the taxpayer and we have to make sure it is being spent properly.
If left unchecked, government gets out of control. When we get a tip about malfeasance, we owe it to the community to check it out and report it. If it turns out there’s nothing there, then that’s even better. We aren’t waiting for the other shoe to drop and get the goods on somebody. It’s just part of the job to investigate allegations.
A free press – newspapers as part of that — serve as a check on the power of government. Our newspaper is not part of the fake news society. I’ve said it before, we don’t have time to fabricate news because we are too busy covering real stories in our community.
I take the job seriously as being the eyes, ears and yes, the voice of the people. Myself and my employees are your friends and neighbors and some of you may even be related to one of us. We are dedicated to do the best we can do in providing you news on the community.
That job has gotten harder as some people think posting something to social media is enough. It’s not. Not everyone stares at social media every day all day long. You can’t clip social media and put it on your fridge, or put it in a scrapbook.
our editorial page is a code of ethics for journalists. It doesn’t have to be on that page or anywhere else in the newspaper, but it’s important for us to remind ourselves we are accountable and we need to minimize any harm from our reporting.
We are not part of the mainstream media, yet we feel as if we are under attack as well. I can understand the president feeling as if they are his enemy, but here at the Georgia Post, we are not anyone’s enemy. We get taken for granted in the communities and though we don’t do it for the money or for the recognition, there are sometimes when everyone else in the room is recognized and we are left out, we wonder what we did wrong.
We want to be a part of what’s right in the community and shedding light on the positive, though we have to report the negative as well. When I first went into journalism, I wanted to make a difference. That is still in the back of my mind, though perhaps not as strong as it was back then because of being beaten down through the years but people who didn’t get a newspaper’s purpose.
We depend on advertising and subscriptions to keep going and our costs rise just like everyone else and we have to cover those costs. We are a small local business that contributes to the local economy. It’s National Newspaper Week so be a little kinder to your local journalist. Thank you.

VICTORIA SIMMONS Is a columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Lumped all into one

Just when you think things couldn’t get any worse or crazier, they somehow seem to do just that, especially with our politicians and elected officials.
With the shooting at the Capital Gazette in Maryland where five journalists were killed, many journalists are questioning themselves as well as the current state of affairs in our country. I’ve even had journalists I know express a certain level of fear.
Such fear you could expect in an authoritarian country or if you happen to be covering a war zone. It’s not the first time journalists have been attacked though, but perhaps the first time on American soil. This shooting moves the United States into the spot of third-most dangerous country for journalists. The top two are Syria and Afghanistan. These stats come from the non-profit Committee to Protect Journalists.
Of course, the left and some mainstream media outlets want to cast the blame on President Donald Trump for his media bashing. Personally, I have issues with mainstream media as well and have done the research and determined, most of those outlets are biased and do not totally report the whole truth or both sides for that matter.
Unfortunately, all media gets lumped into the same category and that is what galls me the most. We may write and report the news but us community journalists are not the same as mainstream media. We cover our local communities. But getting lumped in with the rest of the media, makes us targets as well, even among those who know us. People tend to fall into what is going on with the rest of the population when it comes to complaints.
My experience in a town where the police chief threatened me with a gun, made me realize a long time ago, this job could get you into hot water with people in power if they don’t agree with you. It’s not for the faint of heart and it’s certainly not for those who do not believe in what we do in our communities.
This particular shooting has made me more concerned with my staff’s safety. We discussed our escape routes should something happen here. Two of us do carry but don’t bring the guns into the office. A lot of good it would do us out in the car, so we are re-thinking what we need to do.
In another community, the newspaper office was next door to the police department. It did not matter, as one of the reporters was able to get in and out of a window at the office without even as much as a peep from the police department on more than one occasion. We were also next to the fire department and a wisp of smoke brought the fire department to our door. It did give you some sense of safety.
In this case, the shooter had a long feud with the newspaper even before the Trump administration entered the picture. We should not associate this shooting with Trump. He did not pull the trigger, nor would he advocate such action.
It is society that is the problem. A society which spits out hate like it is a good tasting dessert. It is a poisonous venom which spreads like wildfire and taken up by people who you are surprised would even be that way. It is a condition of the heart; a heart that has turned stone cold.
We as journalists, but as people too, cannot live in fear or worry that something we report will stir up an irate person to want to attack us. Letting that fear control us, would defeat the purpose of having a fourth estate.
It does sadden me that a profession I chose and love, has not only been hit hard financially in the last few years but now faces safety threats which could impact how we do our jobs.
If we can’t do our job which is informing the community, then citizens will not know why their taxes are going up, about the good things happening in the school system, or who is running in the local elections. Not everyone has or cares about social media and does not get their news that way. Many depend on the local media to keep them up to date.
A professor of mine from way back when, said the profession was kind of like the first responders in that we attend meetings before the public knows what’s going on and even arrive on different scenes before the public. I never really thought much about that because first responders are heroes in my book, but perhaps he was on to something, though I don’t consider myself a hero or in the same category.
The attack on media from different fronts including financially, has felt kind of like a war zone in previous years. Some days I do question why I ever became a journalist; other days I cannot imagine doing anything else.
As you say your prayers, remember us community journalists as we go about providing you with local news to the best of our ability.
It seems like the past few weeks, there has been nothing but strife to report from communities. I liken it to drama and it’s something we really don’t like, but something because of citizens’ right to know, we have to cover. It can’t always be good or happy news. Life isn’t like that anyway. We must take the good with the bad and must report it as well.
Thank you to our loyal readers and supports. Your support does make a difference in our lives and our ability to keep you informed. Blessings.©2018

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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