Last updated: January 02. 2014 10:25AM - 633 Views

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World peace and an end to hunger around the globe are laudable goals, but they also might be too big on which to get a firm grip.

When setting your New Year’s resolutions — and if you’ve procrastinated, it’s not too late to do so now — we suggest setting achievable goals that can be measured along an extended period of time. This increases the likelihood of the goal being reached and also allows for the checking of benchmarks along the way to ensure you stay focused.

Another option is, if setting goals related to your professional life, to go back to the basics. Find your company’s mission statement and objective and see how you fit in — determine if your intentions are still in line with your employer’s. If so, you now have a handbook by which to set goals and a team of colleagues to help you achieve them.

It’s no different here at The Richmond County Daily Journal. The shop here is broken down into three general divisions: administrative, advertising and editorial. This page in your local newspaper is managed by the editorial team, so let’s stick with that division’s goals for 2014. The team of Kevin Spradlin, Amanda Moss, Lisa Rushing and Matt Harrelson pledge to you, our readers:

To learn and hone the craft of community journalism and use our knowledge to serve our readers.

Three staff members have a combined newsroom experience of fewer than six months. The other one is brand new to North Carolina’s way of doing things. There’s a lot to learn, and day by day we pledge to know a bit more than we did the day before.

To use public information and and open meetings laws to help hold elected officials accountable. We recently questioned Hoffman Mayor Tommy Hart on the town’s call for an emergency meeting and the 48-hour notification rule. Turns out he was right, and we were able to shake hands and thank him for working with us to find the answer to our question in a timely manner. That wasn’t the case in Hamlet, only a week or so before. There’s much to be improved upon in this category.

We will expect, and respect, opposing views.

Dialogue is crucial to a successful business. That means between stakeholders in an issue, be it a homeless shelter or a zoning ordinance between residents and city or county officials to, internally, between readers and Journal staff. Write, email or phone us with your concerns. We might not agree on an issue — in fact, we’ll rarely tell you our position on it — but we’ll hear you out and, when appropriate, offer space online and in print to express your views.

We will work to meet your needs and wants.

Granted, some changes are beyond the control of staff here in Rockingham. The change in comics, for example, or the loss of horoscopes. But what we can change, we will if we feel such a move is in our readers’ best interests. For example, we’re going to try and offer a list of local companies’ stocks at least once a week, as has been requested. We’re going to research what your needs and wants and respond to them. What do you need out of your local newspaper — a focus on crime, courts and public safety? Local politics? Human interest stories on local people doing great things?

We will be accessible.

Even when the office is closed, such as today on New Year’s Day, we are available by phone, email Facebook or, shoot, knock on the door and we’ll let you in if we’re here. Let’s talk and make 2014 a banner year for you and your Daily Journal.

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