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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.

  • Believe it or don’t believe it: A family tree comes to life

    By London L. Gore

    Guest Columnist

    It’s all about a family tree that came to life more than 90 years ago, Dec. 19, 1923. I was mom’s first-born, a very handsome little white-headed newborn boy. I could always tell Mom was real happy with me, but Dad was in a hurry for me to grow up so I could do most of the plowing of the fields, and everything else. When you grew large enough back then to hold a hoe, then you go, go, go!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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:

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Ethical violations are unforgiveable sins in journalism

    Last week, the Associated Press decided to end its working relationship with a Pulitzer Prize-winning freelance photographer for altering a photo he submitted to the news organization for publication.

    Let me explain why what he did matters and why what the AP did is so important.

  • Sometimes words are louder than actions

    Even if you don’t follow football, or even sports in general, you may have heard about the brouhaha a Seattle Seahawks player caused with his post-game comments last Sunday night.

    If you don’t follow football, or sports in general, let me briefly bring you up to speed: The Seahawks defeated the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night to face the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl. The game essentially ended after a Seahawks player named Richard Sherman caused an interception while covering a pass to the Niners’ Michael Crabtree.