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OUR VIEW: Newton leaders answer call on trash pick-up
trash photo
Pictured is the intersection of Salem and Cowan roads riddled with garbage. (Taylor Beck | The Covington News)

Recent action taken by the Newton County Board of Commissioners was a reflection of the power and influence of journalism.

Since the pandemic began, there has been an issue of littering across Newton County, and The Covington News was on the receiving end of several complaints. Residents voiced their concerns over leaders’ “inaction” and called the trash problem an “embarrassment,” according to an article written by Covington News Editor and Publisher Taylor Beck.

His article highlighted the issue, raising awareness by using both the residents’ viewpoint and comments from county representatives.

It served as a call to action from the people of  Newton County to her great leaders and other residents.

“We need to focus on keeping the county clean, even in the time of COVID-19,” Judy Skillern said in the December article, “because I believe once its starts, then it will start snowballing and it gets worse and worse.”

We’re happy to report that, as you’ve read inside today’s edition of The Covington News, our leaders answered the call. 

During a Jan. 19 meeting, commissioners elected to hire a collection of temporary workers to lead the clean-up effort of the county’s roadways.

City leaders have also answered the call, as there have been roadside clean-up days scheduled in late December with more anticipated to come.

We can’t say our leaders’ actions were made because of our article, but where might we be if the article never published?

This is the power and purpose of community journalism. 

Our focus is not only to tell our community’s story, but to also stick up for our community by holding our leaders accountable and letting your — the community’s voice be heard. 

But don’t get confused. We aren’t here to bash anyone or pick sides. We’re here to report the facts, be fair, honest and nonpartisan in our reporting. 

When that happens, as you’ve seen, we’re a better community for it.

Our View on the Issue is an opinion of The Covington News editorial board, which includes Owner Patrick Graham, Editor and Publisher Taylor Beck and News Editor Tom Spigolon.