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After more than six years, 2,040 stories, 196 opinion columns, countless crime reports and one ejection from a public meeting, my time here at The Brunswick Beacon is winding down.
This Friday, Aug. 3, will be my last day at the Beacon, where I have spent the past six years and three months trying my damnedest to bring you the news—first, right and, frankly, better than anyone else.
I hope you feel I did that for you, whether or not you agree with what’s written in this particular piece of Beacon real estate. It’s not any easy task—walking that fine line between opinion columnist and reporter. But it’s one I did wholeheartedly.
One of the best compliments I’ve ever received was from a woman with opposing political views, who said she was so pleasantly surprised at how objective I was when moderating a U.S. House debate in 2010.
Of course I’m objective—it’s my job. I was quick to defend myself, but she assured me it was meant as a compliment.
Aside from the 196 opinion columns, I assure you the other 2,000-plus stories were fair. I have a hawk of an editor to see to that.
Believe it or not, this opinion column is a very small fraction of what I’ve been tasked with doing—some of which was exhilarating (covering two presidential debates), some of which was painstakingly dull (the countless crime reports) and some of which was just plain sad. I won’t get in to it too much, but some stories just drain you. And I’ve tackled some seriously heartbreaking stuff.
There is no doubt about it—I have had some ridiculously awesome opportunities here at the Beacon—some of which were happenstance, some of which I created. Either way, I can honestly say, I leave here able to assure you I gave it my all, no matter what.
Like any venture in life worth taking, I’d like to think I left the Beacon a better newspaper than when I found it. But the Beacon has been serving Brunswick County well for 40-some years before I got here, and it will continue to do so long after I’m gone. (Don’t worry, Rex.)
I assure you all, you are in very capable hands. This is an incredibly talented and committed newsroom—one you don’t find often. This newspaper is tried, tested and true.
If you’ve taken anything away from me, I hope it has a little something to do with freedom of information and your right to know. I hope you feel you have a right to question your elected officials. Have you made a public records request? What are you waiting for?
Have you been to a town/county meeting lately to question spending you find unnecessary? Again, what are you waiting for? This is your government—for the people, by the people.
Stand up. Speak up. Vote.
To be blunt, far too many men and women are fighting and dying for your right to do so to sit idly by.
As for me, it won’t be long before many of you hear from me again. I’m undertaking a new start-up news venture on the other side of the Cape Fear River.
Until then, thank you for the opportunity to bring you your news. It’s been an honor and a privilege I won’t soon forget.
Caroline Curran is a staff writer and columnist at The Brunswick Beacon. Reach her at (910) 754-6890 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @cgcurran.