Former Daily News manager praises newspaper’s versatility

Published 5:50 am Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Special to the Daily News

The Washington Daily News is one of the reasons I like living in Washington and Beaufort County.
Ever since I can remember, the newspaper has been a fixture in my home. As it has always been during my 46 years as a member of this community, the WDN has always been there. If I want to know something about what is going on in the community, all I have to do is consult the paper.
The paper has that hometown, local flair that endears my heart to Washington and Beaufort County.
To have been in the local area for 100 years, and to have taken on the responsibility as being the voice of the Pamlico, speaks volumes for the viability and reliability of the WDN.
Having experienced nearly a decade of work for the paper, I gained knowledge of my hometown and home area and grew to know more and more of the wonderful people of the area and my native Beaufort County. I will carry those fond memories with me for the rest of my life.
My fulfillment as a reporter at the Daily News rested upon the hope that I was passing on wanted information to the citizens of Washington and Beaufort County and that I was always working for them.
I felt like I was the local residents’ eyes and ears at events that they were unable to attend. I hope I was able to tell them about things that they wanted to know something about but were not able to attend.
Being able to work at the paper and work for its readers was a definite privilege and joy for me.
My knack as a writer was certainly not the best. I had no formal training in journalism, but I managed to muddle through the English composition classes that I took in school. All I really could do was put on paper what I was assigned to cover.
I was happy if I could let the paper’s readers know what was going on around them in words that I hope were reasonably understandable.
After all, to inform its readers is what the paper has been for, and been all about, during its century of service to the people of Washington and Beaufort County.
I look at the Washington Daily News as a needed institution in the community, one that takes on the responsibility of letting the people of the area know what is going on around them.
If we didn’t have the newspaper, we would not have a public instrument of information, especially local information.
We also wouldn’t have a medium through which we could voice our opinion.
From what source would we obtain information on our local open-government meetings of our municipal political bodies, our county board of commissioners, our area’s board of education, and the other local advisory boards that handle issues in our communities?
What organization, other than the newspaper, would send reporters to cultural events in the area and tell us in detailed words, and through photographs, what happened at those events?
How would we know what is happening in the world of local sports — in those football, basketball, baseball and softball games, those soccer and wrestling matches, those track meets, those tennis and golf matches, and any other athletic events that our residents compete in?
What would provide us a list of obituaries, which include biographical sketches and lists of family members of the deceased, who we knew and loved and appreciated for their contributions to the life of the area?
I appreciate the Washington Daily News and the service it provides to the people of Washington and Beaufort County.
I hope the newspaper will be here for another 100 years.
Claud Hodges is the former newsroom manager for the Washington Daily News. He now works for the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.