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Editorial: “If errors were what you watch…who could stand?”

October 31, 2018

From the Editor,
I just wanted to take a moment to express my appreciation to all of our readers and their continued support of The Tomahawk and its relevance in Johnson County. It’s been close to a year since I was given the privilege to take over as editor and it has truly been eventful, to say the least. Before I comment on the positives, I find it necessary to touch on a couple of things that hit home to every member of The Tomahawk team.

Over the last few months several comments have been made on our social media sites—some in good spirit while others not so much—about some editorial content and, or errors that seem to show up time to time. For starters, I would like to acknowledge that you all are absolutely right. Producing a flawless product is and should be every company’s first and foremost goal. I can assure you that such is the desire of everyone in our newsroom. Unfortunately, perfection is not always the case or possible due to human error as well as the increasing reliance on the ever-changing technology. That, of course, is no excuse to slack off in our diligence. We wish and want to make sure that our written page is top quality.I can also assure you that even the most respected top media organizations are experiencing issues with errors, both grammatically as well as artistically, all due to the pressure to keep reporting the news that seems to come in an alarming rate.

Thanks to some recent changes most newsrooms are doing a fantastic job, both daily and weekly while also operating with minimal staffing. Of course, The Tomahawk is by no means immune to the same reality. It is for this reason that I see the need to rightfully and confidently point out many of the positives. I am personally pleased with the hard work on the part of everyone that puts in 100 percent each week to make sure that a great edition reaches our readers. It is indeed a privilege to work with such a talented team here at The Tomahawk. I could not have asked for better staff, which of course, includes our conscientious freelance crew.The fact is that since I have been sitting behind the editor’s desk, The Tomahawk’s readership has seen a continual increase. Such growth is measured not just by the new subscribers, but also by our weekly page count, requiring working harder and longer to fill each page and edition.

I would like to thank our unstoppable advertising sales manager, Rita Hewett, without whom none of this would be possible. Rita’s fantastic talent to not only draw in new clients but to keep the old faithful is unmatched.
Rita is supported by our advertising sales and editorial assistant, Ms. Meg Dickens, who also serves as our staff writer and on whom I can always count on with full confidence. Our office manager David Holloway, whose IT skills are clearly above his title, is a vital part of the team. Thanks to David’s computer skills the paper finds its way to the press on time each week. All of this brings me back to our talented editorial staff. While many are quick to find flaws on our pages what they do not see is the hard work being done each week behind the scene.

There is little doubt about the incredible talent of our graphics design guru, Lewis Chapman, whose skills and artistic abilities have clearly transformed The Tomahawk into a publication to rival any others in the region.
It is this newspaper that has the privilege to call our devoted sports editor Tim Chambers its very own. I have had a chance to work with many great reporters over the years, but I can say with a clear conscience that I am truly blessed to have Tim on my side.
While some take issues with some of our stories I must acknowledge our talented freelance team. The reporter’s list includes Marlana Ward who, while busy caring for her family, children as well as their education, willingly sits through the often poorly attended monthly County Commission and City Alderman meetings. It is because of Marlana’s integrity, attention to detail and desire to report the news that The Tomahawk has been able to bring some of the most important community news stories to light, many of which has triggered a sizable response on our social media page. Our freelance team also includes Mrs. Jill Penley, who while holds down a full time job, manages to cover some of our most complicated and often sensitive stories.

We are also happy to welcome our newest freelance writer, Megan Hollaway. Megan has proven to be a nice addition to our team, and we are looking forward to working with her as we continue to produce great content. I must also mention one of the most respected members, of The Tomahawk, a true newsman, Mr. Jack Swift, whose work over the decades has been priceless. And thanks to all those who are sending in their photos, thanks and story ideas.

In closing, and under the supervision of our publisher Bill Thomas, I hope that this brief editorial brings pause to many as well as to ponder on what it actually takes to produce one of the best and most respected newspapers in the region, which instead of looking for ways to cut and trim in size or content is actually looking for ways to manage the growth. I know that mistakes will appear on our pages and that the “biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.” But, I for one am proud to be a part of The Tomahawk team and blessed to work with such a dedicated, committed and talented crew producing real community news.

Tamas Mondovics