Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Latest Updates

February 5, 2013

Some days this is not the best job in town

— Realizing a longtime dream to finish my working years as a community newspaper publisher has become, to my surprise, somewhat of a mixed blessing.

Or, as I admit to family and close friends, some days this may be the worst job I’ve ever loved.

I’ve grown strongly attached to the give-and-take of reporting the good, the bad and, perhaps too frequently, the ugliness of life.

On the other hand, the newspaper business model can be frustrating at times.

Despite predictions over the last 10 years that newspapers are dying, recent statistics show our industry is regaining its economic footing and making financial gains. Even investment guru Warren Buffett is acquiring newspapers.

Newspapers are becoming more cost-efficient in managing expenses and learning how to effectively utilize, rather than fear, the digital technology that surrounds us.

Yes, reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated. Yet, it seems we have to convince some folks of that fact every business day.

Daily challenges of the free enterprise system aside, I find myself being pulled gradually into the emotional quicksand of broken lives, shattered dreams and hopelessness of those on the wrong side of the news.

Contrary to the accusations of friends and relatives of those identified in crime stories, we find no pleasure in reporting the tales of human misery.

Call it blind loyalty or denial or misplaced family pride, there are those who steadfastly refuse to consider that a loved one could run afoul of the law.

Some of us have experienced the crushing heartbreak of criminal activity in our own families.

We know firsthand of the shame, the parental guilt and the haunting fear that the painful journey could end all too soon in a prison or a cemetery.

We of the press do not seek to add to any family’s burden, but covering this epidemic of crime is like trying to drink from a fire hose.

Text Only
Latest Updates
  • West Africa Ebola outbreak tops 700 deaths

    Security forces went house-to-house in Sierra Leone’s capital Thursday looking for Ebola patients and others exposed to the disease as the death toll from the worst recorded outbreak in history surpassed 700 in West Africa.
    U.S. health officials urged Americans not to travel to the three countries hit by the medical crisis:  Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

    July 31, 2014

  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 31, 2014

  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 2.12.55 PM.png VIDEO: Five-year-old doesn't want her brother to grow up

    Sadie, an adorable 5-year-old from Phoenix, wants her brother to stay young forever, so much so that her emotional reaction to the thought of him getting older has drawn more than 10 million views on YouTube.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Comiskey.jpg Sterling not the only bad owner

    As the Donald Sterling era in with the Los Angeles Clippers looks to be winding down, many are calling him the worst owner in sports history. From being cheap with the players to his most recent racist comments, it's hard to argue against.
    Yet, there are a few owners of athletic teams who can give Sterling a run for title of worst in history.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 1,100 layoffs planned at Alpha coal mines in W.Va.

    July 31, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Grandstands feel a little empty at NASCAR races

    Two decades after NASCAR started running at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the crowds have thinned considerably. It's probably no reflection on the sport's massive following, which stretches from coast to coast, but it surely doesn't NASCAR's image help when the cameras pan across all of those empty seats.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • About 15 UMWA leaders arrested at EPA hearings

    July 31, 2014

  • More than 5,000 coal supporters protest EPA rules

    July 31, 2014