D. C. Moody
In case you haven’t noticed the new name appearing here in your local newspaper in some of the more recent bylines — D. C. Moody by the way — it was suggested I take a few minutes to sit down, reflect, and contemplate how to introduce myself to the community as the newest staff writer and columnist.
It really is an intimidating task, sort of like signing up for one of those specialty online dating sites and having to describe yourself in 25 words or less. It can’t be done.
How could I possibly take just a few minutes and jot down a few notes to give readers a quick sampling of who I am? There’s far too much ground to cover and it would sound, astonishingly enough, something like the following: “Witty, sarcastic writer, new to the area seeking an audience. Along the way I’ve written just about everything there is to write, some good, some bad … a couple of novels to my credit, so there’s always that. Originally a local boy (Anderson County native, Crescent High School and Lander University grad), though that was a long time ago in what seems like a galaxy far, far away…”
And so on and so forth, to infinity and beyond, ad infinitum, take your pick.
Instead what I’ve decided to do is offer up what you can expect from me in my capacity here as the new name that you have yet attached to a face. As for the getting to know me part, I’ll leave that up to you when opportunities present themselves. Having said that, what is it you as a reader and member of this community can expect when you see my name attached in a byline or editorial piece?
You’ll be able to expect three things.
First, you can expect the truth. There’s no higher responsibility for this position than to find the truth and have a desire to do so. Even more than that, there’s the responsibility to the community in seeking what at times are hard answers to tough questions, and in a community this size that’s a delicate balance.
In one way or another all of the elected officials, law enforcement officials, governmental administrators, school teachers, and bankers, the entire community itself, including each one of us, is interwoven with relationships and histories. Sometimes the truth is a hard thing for some and a form of vindication or justice for others, but in the end, it’s what you can expect.
Second, you can expect fairness. In reality you can’t have fairness without truth and vice versa. To every story there are always at least two sides, and in most cases, many more than that.
Fairness is being diligent in finding fact and allowing an opportunity for any side of an issue to be heard in a forum that stays on point and is based in fact and fact alone, not speculation or rumor.
Fairness is an open mind and a willingness to follow through in searching for the truth for any and all involved. Otherwise no one is served by an equal standing and equal opportunity.
Third, you can expect to see me. Being a reporter is far from a behind-the-desk job, though there may be the impression to some that it’s just that easy. You know, make a few phone calls and take a few pictures. No, the truth is nothing happens in my office, at least nothing worth talking about here. It’s being out at meetings, events, stores, shops, offices, cafes, restaurants, etc., that is going to give me the opportunity to know you as well.
The news happens in your everyday lives and far too often there are noteworthy achievements, trends, events and other information that is important to your neighbors and friends. Important to people you may not even know. The reality is I can’t possibly be everywhere at once, but with your help I can come close.
In the end, getting to know me is no different than getting to know the other people in your life. Most of the time it’s happenstance that causes you to cross paths and you either like one another or you don’t on a personal level and there’s really no in between.
Regardless of how it might work out if we should ever meet and we don’t hit it off as friends, I’ll still be delivering on the expectations I’ve tried to briefly lay out here and, hopefully, somewhere along the way maybe even entertain you just a little.
D. C. Moody is a staff writer for The Easley Progress and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.