OK, I was completely wrong

Community Journalist Tim Preston, with signature ink pen behind right ear and sporting a CarterCountyPost.com T-shirt, has confessed he was wrong about something.

Nobody enjoys saying, “I was wrong.”

This time around, however, I confess that I am beyond thrilled to have been incorrect and now proudly declare I am a believer.

A paperless newspaper? 

“That will never fly in Carter County,” I thought.

I have never been happier to say I was completely wrong. The numbers have been simply astounding from the first moments we launched the cartercountypost.com website.

I’m not kidding when I tell you I initially wondered if someone was pulling my leg as I watched the page views on the website, alongside the “Like” and “Follow” figures from Facebook. It was like watching a tiny snowball start to roll down a steep slope, gaining momentum and size at a dizzying pace.

I now realize there is no longer a need for an ink-smeared collection of paper sheets, as much as I still love that format myself. Truth is, nearly all of us now carry a way to gather local news right in our pocket. And, not a single tree has to die in the process.

I was always frustrated by the timing of a weekly newspaper, and immediately discovered I have a genuine appreciation of the ability to get news out instantly. If there is a hazardous material spill on the interstate at the edge of town, we no longer have to wait until press day to get that story (and photos) out to people who live here.

As a convicted advocate of small business owners, I hereby confess I am beyond ecstatic at the opportunity to write and publish photos about local shops, entrepreneurs, employees, sales and specials which corporate supervisors would coldly judge as “free advertising.” That is a rationale made by people who have no problem charging grieving families an outrageous amount to print a traditional obituary, while also relying on those obituaries to sell copies of their paper.

I was working in the real-world Mayberry (Mt. Airy, North Carolina) the first time I was tainted by an association with paid obituaries, and have since always wanted to do something to protest or even counter it. Therefore – Obits, with pictures and sometimes extra stories about the dearly departed, will ALWAYS be shared without cost or profit at cartercountypost.com.

We have a couple of “magic number” moments on the horizon … website views; follows on Facebook; page engagements and more, and I still stand in disbelief. I have to admit that is largely due to the number and conviction of personal comments congratulating this project, atop the encouragement to attempt it in the first place.

I am beyond blessed to know people who believe in me, and enjoy my attempts to capture, record and share stories and images under my new (self-assigned) title.

Community Journalist,

Tim Preston


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