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Columns

  • Readers should be proud of Beacon’s award-winning news team

    Just a few days before the Oscars, a week ago, the North Carolina Press Association had its own awards ceremony in Chapel Hill for excellence in journalism in 2013. I’m proud to say our team brought home eight of those awards.

  • It is OK to have the cupcake first

    By Kathleen DeNike

    Guest Columnist

    There is a difference between a dying process and a sudden death event, and they both leave very different opportunities for healing. Individuals given a terminal diagnosis often have time to reflect and address any issues should they want. Also, those connected to the dying usually have some time and opportunities for closure in their relationships. However, with a sudden and unexpected death, it is done. What the relationship was is what it is forever.

  • Tis the 'tweason' to take stock of what to give up

    We are dwelling in interesting times, and I don’t mean that ironically. At least I don’t think I do.

    I don’t just mean the weather giving us something to talk about — but hasn’t that been interesting? Beach temperatures one cherished, rare winter’s day, then we’re all hunkering down for the big, rare ice storm the next.

  • I hope I didn’t scare you

    I recently had a town official tell me that they thought a story I wrote was inaccurate.

    But in describing the response to the story, the administrator said the town had received numerous calls about the issue.

  • Brunswick County news patterns don’t mirror trends elsewhere

    There’s an old saying in journalism when it comes to how and where stories are reported: “If it bleeds, it leads.” What that means is, the juicier, gorier or more salacious news is, the more likely it is to be the top story.

    In my two decades or so in this business, circulation numbers seem to bear out that tired adage. For all the lamenting over a lack of good, positive news, it’s generally the bad news that sells best.

  • Don’t mistake journalism for PR

    The author George Orwell is credited with saying, “Journalism is printing what someone else doesn’t want printed. Everything else is public relations.”

    I’d like to take that definition a step further by saying journalism is printing what someone else doesn’t like — especially when it comes to reporting on government meetings.

    These stories always boil down to the same thing: Providing accounts of what was said and done, and by whom. That’s the sole purpose of meeting coverage.

  • Valentine’s Day romantic tactics revealed

    Saint Valentine stuck his neck out for love and was beheaded for it, according to one legend. Pursuit of romance on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, can lead to trouble and hard feelings. For that reason, some people retreat from participation rather than risk what goodwill remains with their significant others.

    At the age of 75, I’ve successfully given and received Valentines for more than six decades with great satisfaction. Here are my romantic tactics:

     

    Significant others

  • Too much of a good thing is sometimes a challenge

    It would seem inappropriate for me to beg for patience when I have so little of it, but I’m about to do it anyway.

    A few months ago, we recreated a community news policy to let readers know about our deadlines for items like club news, honor rolls, wedding announcements, business and education briefs, and church bulletin notes. The policy has been printed on page 2A of every edition since.

    In case you’ve missed it, I’ll save you the trouble of flipping pages and give it to you here:

  • In the season of discontent, strive to stay sweet

    The man on the telephone had clearly not rung me up to transmit a valentine.

    Interrupting my typing and toiling at the keyboard on the usual deadlines, he delivered, instead, a verbal barrage.

    He also provided unsolicited instructions on how I was to write a story from the previous night’s town council meeting (which was on the day’s to-do list, for sure).

    He certainly hoped I planned to include details on how the town’s former mayor had gotten out of line at that meeting.

  • Only fools drive unnecessarily on icy roads

    Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: If a life or job didn’t depend on you driving down the county’s icy roads last week, you had no business driving.

    You wanted to see the snow on the beach? Too bad. Wait for your island neighbors to share the photos with you via the Beacon, Facebook, Instragram or the old-fashioned way: with glossy prints.

    You ran out of that ingredient you needed to complete your CrockPot recipe? Tough. Make something else for dinner.