I've always believed that journalism and solid, objective reporting could change the world for the better, giving people the news they want and need in a timely manner to absorb and reflect on. As a reporter, one of the more frustrating things you encounter is having stories you've worked so hard on that you think the people need to read go largely unread.
Thanks to you, Smithtown, as the editor here for more than two years I haven't encountered that.
While I lived in one home for almost 28 years, community is something I had little interest in for much of my life. For years I lived somewhat like a nomad -- I'd travel all over to do reporting and photography, from covering football and basketball games to photographing concerts and more, rarely staying in one place for a very long time. My home was basically a place to sleep and shower before I'd head out to work or enjoy my little free time. Shortly after I took this job about two years ago I moved to St. James and a year later I moved to Smithtown, near Kings Park.
When I moved is when my wanting to be a part of a community changed.
Covering everything from town and school news to community events, businesses entering the town and more, I've developed an opinion of Smithtown -- the residents here genuinely care.
Caring goes beyond just leaving one or two comments on a news story or posting an event on this website. It's rare that I go to any event or meeting and leave without a tip of a new business coming into the community or an event that will benefit a local non-profit organization. Sitting in Starbucks or any local eatery with Wi-Fi I'm almost always approached by someone who wants to see more reporting on a specific topic or someone willing to share an opinion of a story we've recently posted.
Another thing I've come to enjoy being in Smithtown for the past two years is how excited locals get and passionate they are about the businesses they frequent. I can't tell you how many times I've been out and told to try the food at one restaurant or the classes at a local yoga studio or gym. And trust me, I've tried most of what's been recommended and enjoyed each experience.
Now a Smithtown resident myself, I can say I'm a member of a gym that you've recommended, I have eaten at many of the restaurants you've raved about, I've participated in runs and other local events you said were important and more.
Your passion for your community has kept me interested and focused on reporting on all things Smithtown, and for that I am thankful.