Last updated: March 04. 2014 11:06AM - 1039 Views

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One advantage of being a small community newspaper but owned by a corporate media giant is the ability to pool resources.


In mid-December, staff at The Richmond County Daily Journal helped put together a company-wide package with the rest of Civitas Media daily newspapers about the Affordable Care Act. While we figure that President Barack Obama’s signature domestic legislation is not yet in its final form, we hoped to provide readers a one-stop shop for useful information and insight.


The reporting was done by a number of Civitas Media-owned newspapers in North Carlina, Ohio and other locations. By pooling resources, The Daily Journal offered its readers five A-section pages that described users’ experiences with healthcare.gov — including our own — and talked about the health care package in general.


The success of that endeavor has set the stage for Civitas Media’s next company-wide project: Faces of Heroin.As Jim Krumel of The Lima (Ohio) News wrote, “the objective of this project is to put a “face” on the problem … to show how it lures the wealthy, courts the middle class and welcomes the poor.”


Key assignments have been tasked to newspapers in Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky. Reporters from newspapers in those locations will provide insight into the effect of heroin.


The Wilkes-Barre, Pa., paper is tasked with discussing heroin dealers: Where is the heroin coming from? Who are the dealers? How to local people get hooked up with dealers? The package will tell you what heroin is, who takes it and when it returned as a drug of choice. It’ll also inform you how it’s taken and how the drug affects the drug user’s body.


Locally, reporters with The Daily Journal are interviewing local health and law enforcement officials to see the impact of heroin on Richmond County — its communities and its people. How much of a problem is heroin here compared to other drugs?


We also are seeking “success stories” — that is, the story of someone who was abused the illegal drug but has since overcome the addiction.


So help us share someone’s success. We know the issue treads on sensitive information. We respect the privacy of people’s plight on the subject. At the same time, we hope some folks here see the value of using the story of someone who has overcome addiction to the drug. We think such a story can offer hope.


It might not be inevitable that the next person — or even the person beside you — becomes addicted to heroin. However, we feel the telling of such stories will help others hold onto the hope that they, too, can climb out of the hole the use of heroin has put them in.


If you know of such a success story, please consider contacting The Daily Journal newsroom at 910-997-3111 or visit the office at 105 E. Washington St. in downtown Rockingham.

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