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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • James Jackson: Change...

  • Change is always inevitable
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  • “All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.”  -  Anatole France
     
     
    Change will always happen.  Sometimes it is good and sometimes it is bad.  But change is always inevitable.  And so it is that we finish a chapter in the history of The Sun-Times.  This issue will be the final issue for the opinion/editorial section.  It has been an active and engaging section of our paper for many years.  It has sparked conversation around our county; both among those that agreed with columns and those that vehemently disagreed.  It has also generated controversy, but that controversy caused conversation and debate, and that is one of the most intrinsic purposes behind an editorial section.  We aren’t the first paper to close that chapter of journalistic history and we certainly won’t be the last as papers adapt to the realities of the 21st Century.  It is the nature of change in our time.
     
    I have enjoyed the opportunity to write my opinion columns, but I can’t express enough the appreciation we have for our contributing columnists over the years that have faithfully and enthusiastically written on issues dear to their hearts.  All of these columnists have had supporters and detractors and it is true that each of them has angered readers at one time or another.  But having known the columnists that have written for us over the past three years, I can say without doubt that, regardless of their differing opinions, these columnists have given their time and thoughts because they love this county and care deeply for the welfare of its people.  
     
    While I had no working experience with the columnists before my tenure here, I would like to personally thank our opinion columnists that have regularly given their time to the citizens of the county through our paper.  Jerry Jackson, Paul Rawlings, and Sharen Jergenson have the utmost respect and gratitude of The Sun-Times.  And for me personally, I have enjoyed getting to know these wonderful people, both professionally and personally. If you’ve ever had the chance to meet these people beyond their columns, then you can understand when I say you will rarely meet more kindhearted caring people than these.  And I’m sure this can be said for many of the past columnists that came before my time.
     
    Just like a book, when one chapter ends, a new one begins, and so it will be with The Sun-Times.  The opinion/editorial section of the paper highlighted and debated the issues that divide us and set us apart.  Going forward, we would like to devote this newly available space to bringing you more local content and highlighting community, friends, family, and issues that bring us together, for in the end, we’re not a community unless we come together.
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    Should an occasion arise that The Sun-Times feels it necessary to write an editorial piece, we will do so, though this will not be common.  We also feel it is important to hear from our community about the issues that concern them, so we will continue to encourage and welcome letters to the editor and our “what I love about this place” segments.  With the end of opinion/political columns, we will be expanding the word limit of letters to the editor to 400 words.  An author of a letter to the editor may only submit once a month.  We will also still welcome any political/opinion guest columns.  Any we receive will be available for viewing on our website at www.thesuntimes.com.
     
    Thank you again to everyone that has contributed to opinion/editorial pages of The Sun-Times, not only our columnists but also our readers who have made those pages what they were over the years. 

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