My child used to love school but, that has all changed once the new principal came to Farmville Middle School. What in...

We are not the enemy


Thursday, August 16, 2018

Cooke Communications N.C. today joins newspapers across the nation writing in response to President Donald Trump’s regular attacks against journalism and the press.

Too many nights to count, journalists sit in nearly empty city council chambers, school board meeting rooms and county office complexes, carefully transcribing every budget cut, tax hike, hiring debate and enrollment discussion.

Too many afternoons to measure, journalists pore over economic development statistics, redistricting maps, zoning proposals, police reports and lawsuit filings — all in the hopes of gleaning information that will be of interest — and of use — to residents in the communities they serve.

Members of the media realize that not everyone can get to those meetings or wade through those statistics. We also realize something else — the facts we uncover and the stories we produce can have a direct effect on the people we serve. 

So we spend our days and nights looking for information. Not all the facts we report are pleasant. But they help people make informed decisions.

We are, quite simply, a community’s eyes and ears.

But there are, quite sadly, some people who seem to prefer the community be blind and deaf.

President Donald Trump has had a contentious relationship with the media since the early days of his campaign as a candidate. Lately he has ratcheted up his attacks on members of the press, labeling them “the enemy of the people,” and encouraging his supporters to jeer at and even threaten them during speaking engagements and other events.

Trump is not the first president to become frustrated with the media. President Harry S. Truman once wrote, “Presidents and the members of their cabinets and their staff members have been slandered and misrepresented since George Washington.” But Trump’s continual refrain that any coverage critical of him is “fake news” has had a profound and damaging effect on journalists’ credibility.

And that’s bad for our country and our community.

We are not the enemy.

In a democracy, the press is not supposed to shower public officials with accolades and praise every decision. We exist to ask questions, dig for facts and uncover the truth hidden behind public relations spin sessions. We ask the questions that members of the public cannot — is this necessary, what will this cost us, why now and who may be hurt?

We challenge authority, because officials are human beings who can make mistakes and sometimes make decisions based on self interest instead of public interest.

Holding people accountable is part of our mission. But only a part.

We also let the public know how to make their voices heard — from question-and-answer sessions to public forums and ongoing city surveys. We report on positive progress — new businesses, infrastructure improvements, medical advances and educational achievements.

We provide information that affects people’s lives — will the utility’s water main project raise customers’ monthly bills? Will redistricting pull students out of their neighborhood schools and send them on a bus ride across town?

We are not perfect but we are there  — for rezoning votes and school dress code discussions, bond requests and election results.

We keep our eye on the community, and through our eyes others get a better view of the place they live.

That’s our job. And it’s not the work of an enemy.









Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


February 20, 2019

President Donald Trump likes to say that he hires only the best people and that his White House operates like a well-oiled machine.

But a steady stream of insider accounts flowing out of the West Wing suggests there’s more madness than method to the president and his administration.

The most…


February 18, 2019

Under the guise of preventing mass shootings, North Carolina lawmakers tried to chip away at the Second Amendment this week.

State Rep. Christy Clark, D-Mecklenburg, called a Thursday press conference at the General Assembly to introduce the Gun Violence Prevention Act, a grab bag of restriction…

February 17, 2019

U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr., who died Sunday on his 76th birthday, was a fascinating lawmaker.

He was a man who held strong convictions but who was willing to listen to the other side and could be moved when the argument was particularly persuasive. He was the rare official who wasn’t…

Obit Walter Jones Jr-2

February 16, 2019

Florida has been forever changed by the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. In the 12 months since 17 people were killed by a troubled former student firing a semi-automatic assault rifle, there have been modest new gun controls, enhanced security at schools and an…

School Shooting Florida-1

February 15, 2019

When it seemed Mitt Romney might win the popular vote in 2012 but lose the Electoral College, Donald Trump called the system “a disaster for a democracy.”

He was right about that. The election four years later confirmed it.

He is the fifth president to have won only on account of an…

Electoral College-3

February 11, 2019

While North Carolina has become more accommodating to those outside the two-party paradigm, with the recent recognition of the Green and Constitution parties, third-party and unaffiliated voters are still getting the shaft.

The Carolina Journal reports that county boards of elections in the Tar…

Voting Records North Carolina

February 08, 2019

Having been forced to delay his State of the Union address by a government shutdown that he precipitated, President Trump seemed as though he might never yield the podium once he got his chance Tuesday night. In a speech that reflected endurance if not eloquence, Trump offered a thin sheen of…

State of Union-2

February 06, 2019

The number of pedestrians killed in the United States over the past decade or so — 49,340 between 2008 and 2017 — is about seven times higher than the number of Americans killed in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars combined.

Those are among the many sobering statistics from a recent report…

Pedestrian Deaths Things to Know-1

February 04, 2019

If the war in Afghanistan has been anything, it has been a disappointment.

After 17 years of fighting that has seen thousands of deaths and nearly a trillion dollars in expenses, Americans are sick and tired of the interminable conflict.

Fortunately, serious and substantive negotiations are finally…

US Afghanistan

February 03, 2019

Those upset with how the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors is running the 17-campus system have been circulating a year-old magazine profile of Chairman Harry Smith. The profile, written by Jim Pomeranz and published last January in Business North Carolina, was headlined…

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