June 22 – Paper

Today’s writing prompt is Paper. An interesting choice for the first full day of summer.  I don’t know about you, but I love to read paperback books in the summer. There is nothing better than a well-worn book that you can read at the beach or pool. I normally buy these at a used bookstore and then can fold them if needed. However, I prefer bookmarks to mark each time I stop reading.

My photo includes a paperback book that I enjoyed reading, as well as a picture that I colored. It was in a book of lighthouses. There are a few more drawings to color. I will have to see where that book is. Not sure why the eye shadow is there except that this photo may have been originally posted as another subject.

This year we won’t be reading any books at the beach. I hope we can go to the beach next year, but will have to wait and see. However, there will be time to swim at the pool and that should be fun. We will just be sure to have plenty of sunscreen, cold drinks, a great book, and an umbrella.

Call me old school, but I like actual books and newspapers to read.  I like to hold that paper in my hand, see the pages printed, and get the ink on my fingers from the papers as I make my way through the sections. I haven’t been able to go electronic yet. Maybe one day.

My first professional job was at a newspaper after college. I loved it but the pay was terrible. Still, I learned so much from the founder of the paper, the publisher, and the editor, as well as all of the interesting people I met along the way. It was a great place to learn the business and develop my skills.

Everyone at the newspaper did a variety of tasks since it was such a small staff. For example, our publisher helped with layout of the paper. This was done with actual paper with Exacto knives and blue pens. It was a while ago. Now, layout is on a computer. So much has changed since I worked at this paper in the early 1990s.

Having the publisher do this helped me learn that a great boss will get in the trenches with his staff and do what is needed to have everyone succeed and meet deadlines. He never acted like he was better than any of us and that made a great impression on this then young and naive reporter.  He was very supportive of me and the rest of the employees and wanted the best for us.

I wrote a variety of stories for the paper, each with a slightly different format. I wrote news articles of accidents, county commission meetings, school board meetings, arrests, covered courtroom cases, and other subjects. I also wrote features and was able to interview and write about all of the new commissioners.

I learned to love and truly appreciate the first amendment through this job. I continue to fight for it and support journalists. They are not perfect by any means, but in my opinion, must be able to do their jobs, ask the hard questions, and report on what is going on.

Recently there has been an attack on the media and this has me baffled and upset.  Granted, much of today’s news is very biased and one-sided. That is frustrating and so very different than what I learned in journalism school.  But, I wouldn’t trade it for a state-run media and the government telling reporters what they can say and print.

Many places in the world have this control. A few amazing things about our country are the 1st Amendment and the three branches of government.  In America, freedom of speech and freedom of religion are protected. The hard thing about it is giving equal time to someone we strongly disagree with.

My hope is that we can learn from those we agree with as well as those we don’t. And that we can listen to each other and try to find out where we are all are coming from.  If we don’t do that, we may never find a way to bridge the gap that seems to keep growing wider and wider.

I wonder what the next book or article is that I will read?  I am not sure but am so looking forward to it. Take care and happy summer!

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