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One year down, many more to go

By JEFF BROWN

jbrown@shelbynews.com

Look down at the bottom left-hand corner of the front page of today’s newspaper. Under the American flag is the volume number and edition number of The Shelbyville News. 

They are there everyday ... updated every single day TSN is published. The volume number is years. That means The Shelbyville News is 70 years old in 2018. The edition number refers to the number of editions published in this volume. 

So today’s edition of TSN is Volume 70, Number 155.

But to me its Volume 2, Number 1.

The Aug. 6, 2017 edition of TSN was my first as Editor, ending a 17-plus-year-run as Sports editor of my hometown newspaper.

I knew I could handle the task I was asked to take on – make TSN a vibrant newspaper filled with stories, both good and bad, of current events in Shelbyville and Shelby County. But there was so much more to being in charge of the Editorial staff than just managing 2-3 daily pages of Sports – which I loved.

Most of my trepidations surrounding the day-to-day tasks were unfounded. I was well-prepared having sat back and watched editor after editor come and go from our 123 E. Washington St. building. 

The toughest task I had to learn was pulling material for the Editorial page (typically page A5 in TSN). I was never a big fan of politics or focusing in on issues that affect so many. I was always more intrigued by the local prep teams and keeping track of the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers and Cincinnati Reds.

Now I read several columns and editorials a day to select what I believe to be an interesting read. My personal feelings don’t come into what is printed. I try to find issues that are relevant to you, the reader, so you can be informed. That may mean running a political cartoon or column opposed to a view you may take. 

This country is riding along a dangerous slope right now with a radical president intent on shaking things up – some for the better, some for the worse. There is a huge political divide as Republicans and Democrats seemingly want to battle over every issue. 

Racism is growing. School shootings are on the rise. Immigration is being tested. 

I’ve always felt the more you read, the more opinions you take in, the smarter you will be. I hope TSN’s Editorial page reflects some of that because I pay great attention to what appears there, and I’m much more comfortable, one year later, selecting material to publish.

There have been many compliments over the last year regarding how TSN has appeared in the 12 months since I’ve stepped up. Much of that credit goes to the Editorial staff, which is pushed everyday to produce content in a timely manner, even if our deadline keeps some stories from being timely.

Newspapers are vital to a community. They tell great stories of people helping people and those that overcome hardships and tragedies. But they are also necessary to keep local governments and school boards in the public eye. 

I feel confident that TSN is better off today than one year ago. But it can still be better. 

Now that I know what I am doing, let’s see just what I can do with my hometown newspaper. I hope you keep reading, either the traditional print edition or online at www.shelbynews.com.