Jason Davis: Every newspaper has its issues

Mar. 31, 2014 @ 12:04 AM

In some ways, newspapers are a little like jobs.

Everyone complains about them, but a world without them would be a tougher place to live.

The Mountain Press is a great example.

There aren't many days that I don't hear some sort of complaint. Either a word was misspelled somewhere, a crossword puzzle was left out or space constraints kept a submitted story on the shelf another day. Perhaps someone just didn't like the tone of a particular story.

Yet, when someone feels slighted by a public official or wants to get the news of their new business out, they usually don't hesitate to ask us for help.

It's frustrating, sure, but I guess I wouldn't have it any other way.

I've been in the newspaper business for over half my life now, and all I can is this: There's only one perfect person I know who's walked the Earth, and he wasn't a copy editor.

People sometimes don't like the stories we cover, an angle we take or something we say in our personal columns or an editorial. I get that. It's a personal taste thing. If we wrote only what everyone wanted to hear, things would get boring fast.

We also hear comments about the number of submitted items or Associated Press content published.

The AP is a service we pay for, and we'd be foolish not to use it. We don't have a bureau in Nashville, and, as a six-day-a-week publication, we need some state and national coverage. Four writers can't do it all.

As for the submitted stuff, I can shoulder some of the blame there. As editor, I believe that copy submitted by the community should be given a level of priority. After all, we're Sevier County's newspaper. Why not give space to citizens and their stories? Will your church homecoming submission getting into a metro daily? Probably not. Will it get into The Mountain Press? Sure.

But, in the meantime, we are writing important stories. Stories about life. Stories about death. Stories about successful business ventures that help keep Sevier County on the map. Stories about large business transactions gone awry. Stories of 93-year-old community volunteers and state baseball championships.

Here is just a small sampling of some things readers of The Mountain Press learned over the past week by perusing our pages:

The Soggy Bottom Boys, of "O Brother, Where Art Thou" fame, reunited for a one-off concert in Gatlinburg.

 A convicted murder from Sevier County, currently on death row, won the right to appeal his case.

 A Pigeon Forge High student, Chad Gibson, was named the Tennessee State Senior Beta Club's vice president.

 Gatlinburg has quite a schedule of spring special events on this year's slate.

 The Anna Porter Library is offering a financial literacy class for older adults.

 An adult was arrested for disorderly conduct at Seymour Middle School.

 Our local car dealerships have some attractive deals on both new and used automobiles.

 Construction at the local high school football stadiums has affected the track and field programs.

 A local cell phone shop is offering iPhone 5C upgrades for only a penny.

 State educational funding seriously short-changes our local students based on our tax contributions.

In the end, we're just like many of you, our readers.

We're Sevier Countians that depend on a small business to feed our families and provide them with shelter. We sit by you in church and stand next to you in line at the bank. Our children play with your children at recess, and our tax dollars pay to pave the same roads. We want what's best for all of us, and we want to tell you all about it.

We're The Mountain Press, and we're proud to be your newspaper.