As the editor, I get to hear a lot of different opinions from a lot of different people.
I want all of our readers to know that I listen to those opinions, and I even carry some of them home with me and lose sleep over them.
Some opinions are sent in to the office via mail for publication consideration and some are sent to me via anonymous email. I’ve even had people tell me to my face when they like or dislike something pertaining to the paper, and I appreciate those people for expressing their thoughts.
Lately, I have been hearing more and more opinions about the “His Word” section that we have started running above the fold in each publication. Would you believe it if I told you that not one person has had a negative thing to say about that? If someone does have an opposing view on it, they have yet to tell us, and I just think that is really incredible.
In this line of work, we have to be unbiased about everything. We have to seek out and report the facts, regardless of where we stand in our personal beliefs. Our opinions do not see the light of day until they are printed on the “Opinion" pages, which only run on the weekends now. So, probably more than anyone, we know that there is no way to please everyone. I may be jumping the gun, or I may be being too optimistic, or maybe nobody has spoken up about it yet, but I think it is safe to say that the “His Word” section is appreciated by the majority of our readers.
We can’t take credit for the “His Word” section, either. That was something our new owner, Patrick Graham, wanted us to start doing. We were excited about it, but because we know we report to an audience with their own opinions and beliefs, we were prepared for the backlash if it did come. We’re three months in and haven’t received a single complaint; now that’s something to be proud of.
Personally, I love the “His Word” section. It has helped me because I am the one who selects a verse or two at random for print. There have been days when I have been searching for a passage, and the one that I see while searching is the one that I needed to help me through. I believe that if the “His Word” helps me through a hard time, then there are plenty of others out there who are getting a blessing from it as well.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I do not select only the verses that I like. I believe in God’s Word in its entirety, so I choose the chapters and verses at random. If there is an approaching holiday, then I will try to find a verse that correlates appropriately. Like today, for example, I chose Deuteronomy 4:19, because I thought it was appropriate for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. To play it safe, though, I mostly choose them at random, and that’s why I wanted to extend an invitation to you all to send in your favorite verses for publication consideration.
The “His Word” verses come from the New King James Version Bible and they typically do not exceed 50 words. Feel free to email your suggested verses to kbeaty@times-journal, or mail them in at P.O. Box 680349, Fort Payne, AL 35968-1604.
— Kayla Beaty is the managing editor of the Times-Journal, her email is email@example.com