I really appreciated Gov. Mark Gordon confirming at the start of his press conference Friday afternoon that journalists/newspapers are also essential workers and businesses.

We’re down to just two writers and the publisher on the news side of our papers, the Douglas Budget and the Glenrock Independent. We have a handful of wonderful people who are part of our team, performing their jobs in other areas. Together, we make an impressive team, even with limited hours and diminished staff.

We’re working our tails off to make sure the news is getting out every, single day.

I’d like to state – for the record – that as writers, reporters and journalists, we report accurately, honestly and fairly. We’re good people, trying to make it all work during this crazy time – just like you.

We’re doing our absolute best to make sure our community is well-informed and cared for during this novel coronavirus pandemic. We’re also writing and promoting community features, covering stories about folks who’re finding the positives in this otherwise rough and challenging time.

I’m proud of what I do, and I’m exhausted, too. The majority of the interviews we do are over the phone. If we do interviews in person, we keep the minimum amount of social distance between us, often more than what the Centers for Disease Control mandates.

I’m tired of people trashing the media in Converse County and elsewhere. Not everyone does, no. There are those of you who are real gems, and I cherish you. Thank you for seeing us as individuals and seeing our hearts.

Most of us are amazingly hard working people, looking for the best in people and highlighting the good. In my opinion, most of us who live in small towns love and care deeply about our communities.

Please think twice when you get ready to immediately trash “the media” in your conversations, be they online on social media or otherwise.

If you think about it, some of us are actually your friends. It’s hurtful to see the derogatory comments in local rant and rave groups or hear it from others. Once in a while it’d be nice to hear something good about us. I know the people who I work with from the top down. I wouldn’t trade this work family for any other job.

As long as our newspapers are alive and printing, I’m there – in our towns, talking to our governmental leaders, covering the people who make our community what it is, in as many aspects as possible.

Hang in there folks. Be kind to one another and remember to give others the benefit of doubt. Once said, words can’t be retracted.

The only way we’re going to get through this time is by sticking together.

Oh – and wash your hands.

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