Mirrors can be dreadful things, can’t they? How many of us look into them and scorn what we see? Maybe there’s a few too many gray hairs or wrinkles. Oh, that crooked nose! What are you doing to me, mirror?

Like it or lump it, the mirror is only showing us what’s there. We don’t have to like what we see. We don’t have to agree with it. But it’s there, always showing us what’s in front of it.

Since joining The Paris News two years ago this month, I have pushed this newspaper to be a mirror for the Red River Valley. It’s even written into our editorial mission statement:

“The Paris News, as a bastion of truth, will strive for excellence, accuracy and fairness through objective news-gathering methods. We will be constantly accessible, but remain fiercely independent as we guide the Red River Valley’s deliberation of public issues and advocate for solutions. While serving as the area’s watchdog, we will report the good news happening in our neighborhoods every day. The Paris News will serve as a mirror for the Red River Valley, motivating people to celebrate what they like and to change what they do not.”

That statement is our North Star, our guiding light. Our staff is small, but dedicated to covering local government, businesses, churches, events and more. If it happens in the Red River Valley, it has a place in this newspaper. We can and do sometimes fall short; we are human, after all. But when we do, we tell you. We print corrections and clarifications. We change the story online and tell you what was changed. And sometimes we can’t get to everything that’s happening, but our emails and doors are always open for submissions, be it a photo, a write-up or a letter to the editor.

There’s a great deal of local news that goes into this newspaper. Through the June 25 edition this year, The Paris News published 1,452 staff-written stories, accompanied by 335 articles written by paid freelance writers and 580 submitted articles — and that goes up to 689 if you count letters to the editor and guest columns among the submitted. That’s a lot of voices.

“A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself,” famed author Arthur Miller said. I believe that’s true, especially on the community level. But with a lot of voices talking, not everyone will agree with everything being said. Heck, journalists don’t even agree with everything they cover, but they cover it because that’s what’s happening here; those are the discussions going on in our community.

A newspaper isn’t your feel-good buddy telling you everything is all right while the barn is on fire. It’s a mirror reflecting the world in front of it. If you feel your voice, your point of view, is missing from that picture, take action. Reach out. Write a commentary. Take the reins — don’t just sit back for the ride and complain about how bumpy the path is.

There’s no cost for article submissions or letters to the editor, expect your time to do it.

Klark Byrd is the managing editor of The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6960 or klark.byrd@theparisnews.com.

Managing Editor

Klark Byrd is the managing editor of The Paris News and the editor of Paris Life Magazine. He resides in Paris with his wife, Krystle, and their three children, Charlie, Annalise and Willow.

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(1) comment

Judith Malone

I read a comment online that we citizens are not at fault or responsible for the mistakes of the past. I have to agree. But my accountability began when I read history and surmised what were the inequities of the past. So, beginning about 1965, I and you who became accountable of age do have the responsibility to effect change for the better. Since that time, I have been aware of the poverty produced by social inequities, lack of education and opportunities for millions, the horror of foreign wars that take our best and bleed them in desert sands and sweltering jungles. I am accountable if I dont push for fair voting rights, women’s rights, religious rights for all beliefs, support for fair leaders in power, and for honesty in their dealings with our government. So, if I don't push for fair treatment under the auspices of law and justice, then I have bought my share of injustice from the past because I ignored justice in the present. In the Bible theres a phrase I never could accept. “The sins of the parents are visited upon the child”. Now, I have begun to understand that when I accept the failures of the past, then they will continue in me and possibly in my innocent children. That great travesty must be prevented by writing a new story for this Democracy no matter how hard this birth of a new path is to create and follow. Make new laws but keep the good ones. One is silver. The other is gold. And I am accountable going forward with justice for all. And all means all of ya’ll.

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