From the editor: Putting the ‘our’ in journalism

When I was growing up, from September to November, my dad would get up at 7 a.m. every Saturday morning to pick up a copy of the local newspaper.

I would wake up around noon to see the sports section spread out on the breakfast table, with my dad and brother analyzing every word written about the previous night’s high school football game. If my brother had a particularly good game and ended up on the section’s cover, my dad would make multiple trips to the paper box to secure several extra copies for family and friends.

Meanwhile, any copies of larger newspapers would be pushed to the wayside for most of the weekend. Who has time to read about the latest political scandal in Washington or celebrity gossip when you have news about your small town’s biggest social event right at your fingertips?

In the journalism school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I often thought back to this experience. While concerned friends and family bombarded me with news that another strong newspaper had folded or laid off most of its newsroom, I couldn’t help but remember that Saturday morning rush to the newspaper box.

If the entire journalism industry is dying, how do these smaller newspapers – minuscule in comparison to media giants such as The New York Times or CNN – even stay afloat? The key to that question lies in the word “community.”

Charlotte is a big city, and it can be frustrating to hear your neighborhood, whether its Coulwood, Mount Holly or Shuffletown, become indistinguishable from the rest of the Queen City. While the Mountain Island community is certainly proud to be a part of the Charlotte area, it is also a place with its own history, people and camaraderie.

As the new editor of the Mountain Island Monitor, I hope that I can capture a snapshot of this community’s unique flavor and day-to-day life each month. While you may tune in to MSNBC or Fox or read The Charlotte Observer to find out what’s going on across the nation and region, it’s my goal that you turn to us to read about the new principal at your child’s school, a neighbor courageously fighting cancer or a local serviceman returning from a tour in Afghanistan. We want to offer you what we feel no one else can – a detailed, honest look into the place that matters most, your home.

To achieve this goal, I need your help. Perhaps you see an important issue in your neighborhood that needs attention, yet no one seems to listen to your concerns. Maybe you know a neighbor who is struggling with a challenge and could use a little encouragement from his or her community. Or maybe you just want to help recognize a high school teacher who has gone above and beyond expectations in helping to prepare your children for the future.

Whatever the case may be, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and let me know. While I will work my hardest to be your one-stop source for all things Mountain Island, I will need some guidance from you – the readers – to figure out what you want to see inside our pages.

Together, we will work to celebrate Mountain Island life and all it has to offer.

To contact Hamby, call 704-766-2100 or send an email to

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