This news organization produced 154 printed editions of the Forsyth County News in 2018, and we aimed to accomplish the same basic task with each one: to document life in Forsyth County.
And there was a lot to document this year.
County resident Geoff Duncan, a former state representative for Forsyth, was elected to the state’s second-highest office.
New Cumming Mayor Troy Brumbalow unveiled plans for a city center that could dramatically update the downtown area with the kind of commercial development that citizens have been craving.
There was a high-profile murder trial. A 142-year-old business closed. New members of the Forsyth County Commission and Forsyth County Schools Board of Education were elected. Voters nearly decided to create a new city.
Those filled just a few of our editions. We reported countless more stories on decisions by our local government and school system, efforts by the county’s robust network of nonprofit organizations and accomplishments by regular citizens.
What made the stories worth doing was your decision to buy a printed edition of the Forsyth County News or to go to our website at ForsythNews.com, whether through an annual subscription or the dollar or two you paid at the newsstand. That decision is both the reason for and how we are able to do what we do.
It is no secret that between the emergence of the internet and mobile technology, journalism has been in turmoil for at least the past decade. The conventional business model for producing and delivering the news is becoming ever-more antiquated, and the casualties have been felt in the loss of newspapers and jobs in the journalism industry.
Yes, reporting the news is costly. That’s why your support is so meaningful to us. It allows us to continue a tradition started in 1908 of providing the citizens of Forsyth County with the information they need to be engaged in the affairs of the place they call home.
We also realize that with that financial commitment from you come expectations.
Journalism’s ability to serve the public good has been more regularly and fiercely debated the past few years, with “mainstream media” and “fake news” becoming new pejorative terms. While that debate may seem more focused around national television networks and legacy news organizations, we understand that more and more readers come to a news story alert for any bias or tilt from the news organization.
Nevertheless, we remain committed to a standard of journalistic excellence based on the principles of accuracy, fairness and professionalism. Those principles guide us in every story we write, whether it is keeping local elected officials and public safety departments accountable or exploring the psychological toll of being a first responder.
There are those who may consider the press to be the “enemy of the people.” We consider it an essential component of a healthy community.
This coming year is sure to bring more tragedies and joys, more controversies and feel-good moments in Forsyth County.
We are here, ready and waiting, to document it all for you.
The Forsyth County News editorial board.