Cobbs Creek Reservoir Stories Were 'Community Journalism At Its Best'

Published 4:24 pm Thursday, April 7, 2011

As local musician and potter Tray Eppes' grandmother was fond of saying, “It's a poor dog that doesn't wag its own tail.”

If you can't, or won't, wag your own tail, who else will or should?

In this case, the Virginia Press Women's Association.

The Farmville Herald did amazingly well during the VPW's annual writing and photography contest, with Megan Harris, Marge Swayne, and Tana Knott winning a combined total of more than 40 awards, and Ms. Swayne this year's Sweepstakes Award winner, with her 26 total awards.

Well done, indeed, to all three.

With nearly a century as a community newspaper serving Buckingham, Cumberland, Farmville and Prince Edward, The Herald's writing and reporting staff has consistently been cited by its peers through the years for journalism excellence, just as our advertising staff also has a stellar record in such competitions.

Our goal isn't to win awards, however. If awards come, fine. The Virginia Press Women's Association, the Virginia Press Association, and the Virginia Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists are among the organizations which have shone a spotlight on our staff, and we have won the most prestigious awards those organizations bestow.

But our mission is to serve this community to the best of our collective ability, from the printing press crew, to classifieds, typesetting, lay-out and pagination, proofreading, paper carriers-everything and everybody. Only a few among our team of employees get by-line recognition in the newspaper but everyone's contributions are vital and focused on the finished product.

Everything we do is for you. That is our daily reward, which cannot be framed because there is no frame big enough.

Therefore, it was particularly heartening to read what one VPW judge had to say about the continuing and indefatigable coverage provided by hard-working Megan Harris concerning Cumberland County's Cobbs Creek Reservoir:

“Excellent journalism. The reporter was thoughtful, thorough and informative. This is community journalism at its best!”

Nor could there be a better community of people for whom to pursue that goal of excellence.

Thank you very much for reading.