As many of you may have read recently, I am the new editor of The Paducah Sun.

I hold this position with a high degree of respect for those who went before me. This paper has a lot of history, and it has served the community with the utmost regard for clarity, accuracy and ethics.

I’d like to delve deeper into what makes this region special — the issues, the heartaches, the challenges and the triumphs. With that, I’ve asked my staff to think outside the box and reconnect with the community in order to better tell your story, our story.

This is where I need your help.

Indeed, there are limitations with COVID-19 restrictions, but I’d like to engage our readers. I’d like to know what local issues matter to you the most.

Mail a letter. Email or call me. Whatever way you see fit.

I love my line of work and it still bothers me greatly to hear false accusations lodged against journalists. Fake news, you say?

Well, I would admit there are some bad apples. But local journalism is the last frontier, I believe, because we report on the same communities we live in, the cities we raise our families and the towns we call home.

Here’s another thing you should know about me: I’m an old school journalist and the ethics instilled in me early on in my career is the foundation of how I conduct myself.

A journalist’s mission is simple: To tell the truth.

Our mission as journalists is to make ourselves competent, honest and forceful witnesses of the truth. The most urgent need is to stop being complacent.

The journalist’s mission is truth telling. The mistake of the journalist lies in assuming this to be such an easy function. It is, in fact, the most difficult task in the world. But we succeed in approaching its limits the more we improve ourselves as observers and witnesses of our time and our own world.

For the journalist is vested with the power of the printed word, with all its potentialities for good or for evil.

Walter Elliot once said: “Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.”

That’s how I will approach this position and this paper’s relationship with its readers.

After all, your story is our story.

These are uncertain times. The coronavirus changed the very fabric of society, touching every aspect from birth to death, from celebration to mourning, from gatherings to isolation.

This crisis, although dominated by statistics, is a human story. And that’s how we’ll tackle our duty to the communities we serve.

There’s no specific compelling thing we do to cover western Kentucky, it’s more of a series of actions that make our newsroom, albeit small, dedicated to shining the light wherever there’s darkness.

Our passage through these uncertain times is all about perseverance, and as Elliot said, it’s not a long race but a series of short ones.

And the only way we know how to navigate those short and steady paces is to write about the journey.

So, help me out.

You can email Mangalonzo at jmangalonzo@paducahsun.com.

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