Role of News Sentinel in Tuesday’s election

A very generous comment was posted by “RussellP” on today’s main story about Tuesday’s election It read:
“On VE day in London, a large crowd gathered outside #10 Downing Street and Winston Churchill came out and told the crowd, “This is your victory.” But they shouted back, “No, this is YOUR victory!” Well, credit is due. The News-Sentinel went out on a limb, really taking it on the chin again and again, standing up repeatedly for good government in Knox County. So I want to thank the NS and particularly Jack. “Jack, this is YOUR victory!””
That’s a very nice sentiment. but I have to vigorously disagree on several counts.
First, and most emphatically, this wasn’t my victory.I didn’t have a personal stake in the election, and for me the outcome was neither a victory nor a defeat. In my column Sunday I mentioned that the event that was personally most important to me this week was my son’s signing to play soccer at ETSU. View the story here. I’m immensely proud of him, and his decision will have a large bearing on his life, and mine.
To the extent that I played a role in the election, I did so in my professional capacity as editor of the paper. That’s my job, and I’m privileged and grateful to have it. But I am just one of many at the News Sentinel who have worked together for the past year to hold Knox County accountable to its citizenry. By virtue of the desk I sit in, it was my name that went on the sunshine suit, and I’ve tried to handle the other duties of an editor to the best of my ability. Many others played equally important or greater roles, however. Just one example: Our youngest reporter, Ansley Haman, broke one expose after another, with the most recent coming on election day itself, when she found a county employee who had been released from work — with pay — to campaign at the polls for an insider candidate. View the story here.
But the outcome of the election wasn’t a victory for the News Sentinel, either. Sure, elections are exciting, and it’s fun — and newsworthy — to report upsets and surprises. But the newspaper that judges its success on the outcome of elections is doomed to failure.
However, there was a number tallied Tuesday to which the News Sentinel may proudly point: 91,064. That was the number of ballots cast. We, as newspaper and editor, won if we helped stir voter interest and provide citizens with the information they felt they needed to cast ballots. And this year, I think we accomplished that goal.
The victory, itself, went to the citizens who fulfilled their duty to vote, as it always should.

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