9-11: Time to be heard

By Staff
Sept. 1, 2002
I want to extend a personal thank-you today to the many readers who have already sent us their stories and photos for inclusion in The Meridian Star's upcoming special edition on the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on America.
And to the rest of our readers, there's still time to get your story in. We plan to publish at least a 16-page section  all editorial content, no advertising.
From Travis Sanders, a 13-year-old student at West Lauderdale, to Meridian resident Bobby Rushing, a frequent contributor whose words I always enjoy, to former Bishop Duncan Gray Jr., interim rector at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Meridian, the stories are coming in about how life changed on that day.
By all indications, you are helping your community newspaper set something of a higher standard in our corporate world as we seek to print more reader-written material. That concept is a piece of a company-wide readership initiative that we here at The Star have embraced as we prepare to move into the newspaper's 105th year of service to the community.
It's a serious commitment to producing a daily newspaper with the kind of content that keeps you reading, and keeps you interested. Of course, our reporters and photographers are still out covering news and sports, our page designers are still producing attractive layouts, and our editors are still editing. The Star's editorial staff is still here to assist in every way.
But we think we're onto something special around here by making a conscious effort to involve our readers more actively in the process. You have great stories and as I often tell civic clubs, I want them in the paper.
And, on a personal note, as the editor of my hometown newspaper, I can tell you that I appreciate the time and effort required on the readers' part, too. In effect, when we seek out stories, a reader becomes a writer. I always get a kick out of reading something written by someone who says they could never write it.
If you've noticed an improvement in the content of The Meridian Star over the last couple of years, we're succeeding. If you haven't, well, keep reading.
The particulars of how to submit a piece for publication in The Star's 9-11 special edition appear today in a box on page A1. Take a look at it and remember that the deadline is this Wednesday.
We're particularly interested in stories of how your life in our community has changed during the year after the terrorist attacks.
What are you doing differently today? Have any of your personal goals or priorities changed? Are you worried about the prospect of a long-term military engagement in far-away lands? Are you concerned with your family's safety in your own home? How would you rate the job of our leaders in facing the challenges?
This is only a sampling of the kinds of stories written and submitted by readers so far for this special section that will insert in The Star on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2002. Our reporters are doing a variety of other stories, too.
My guess is that, due to the nature of the content, the 9-11 special section will be saved by many readers as a commemorative issue. I'd love to include your story, too, with photos if possible.
As a reminder, you may mail material to me at The Meridian Star, P.O. Box 1591, Meridian, MS 39301; e-mail to bbynum@themeridianstar.com; fax to (601) 485-1275; or bring it by the office at 814 22nd Ave. Questions and ideas are welcome. Call me at 693-1551, extension 3213.
And, thank you.

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