One of the first lessons I learned as a child was from my Mawmaw Beck.
The lesson? Making everyone happy is impossible.
One day many years ago, I remember the topic of my school days came up in conversation while eating lunch with her. She asked about my friends and lovingly assumed I had many. I told her I only had a few, even though I tried my best being nice to everyone. For the record, I was an awkward kid growing. I like to believe I’ve grown out of that, but the truth is that I still have my moments.
“Well, you can’t please everybody,” Mawmaw said, as she so often did. She’d often follow up with something to the effect of, “Even if you fixed all the world’s problems, there’d still be someone out there who wouldn’t be happy about it.”
She passed away last spring, just as COVID-19 cases began to surge throughout the nation. But her battle was with dwindling health, not the virus. She’d battled cancer for the longest time until doctors told the family there was nothing more to be done. I moved to Covington only a few weeks after her death.
I miss her and her Godly wisdom every day. She was the sweetest lady and an inspiration to our entire family.
Mawmaw’s lesson for me is certainly true in the world of journalism.
Her advice echoed throughout my mind after receiving a few emails/letters recently from readers.
Two of them were requests to cancel their subscription, but their reasonings were on opposite ends of the spectrum.
The first request stated the reader wanted to cancel their subscription because our newspaper was “too liberal,” and they didn’t like what it had become in recent years.
The second request stated the reader wanted to cancel their subscription to the newspaper because it was “too conservative.”
But, to make things even more interesting, we picked up nearly 10 new subscribers over the same period of time.
Folks, you can’t make this stuff up.
But rather than getting down about losing a couple readers, I realized something. This only tells me we’re doing something right.
The newspaper’s role in the community is to inform and educate readers on local, current events with eye-catching content based solely on facts and without bias. And that’s what we’re doing. We present you with the facts, and then let you determine what to think about it.
Sure, we have an Opinions section where myself and other staff members share our individual thoughts on various issues, but these are to create conversation and encourage readers with potentially different views to write letters and interact with us. We’re never telling you how to think or feel.
Some opinions, like mine often are, will be conservative-leaning and others will be more liberal and progressive, which is an honest reflection of our politically divided county.
The Covington News’ goal isn’t to please everyone because, unfortunately, we know that will never happen. Instead, we’ll just stick to being the eyes and ears of our great community and covering Newton County around-the-clock, as we have been for the last 156 years.
Taylor Beck is editor and publisher of The Covington News. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.