Sense of community contagious in Union County

by Eren Tataragasi

Eren Tataragasi

On Sunday, April 1, I attended Union Symphony Youth Orchestra’s final concert of the season at The Batte Center at Wingate University.

Not only was I blown away with the passion and energy with which the students played, but the enthusiasm of the audience was contagious.

Each of the students’ numbers was met with applause and cheers as if the Weddington Warriors had just scored another touchdown or the Cuthbertson Cavs had sunk another three from deep.

It was awe-inspiring to see these students play numbers by musical geniuses, but it also was encouraging to see the community’s support for these very talented students.

So, what’s my point?

What I experienced Sunday afternoon is, to me, what community journalism is all about. And as the new editor of the Union County Weekly, it’s that sense of community I’d like to see reflected in our coverage of Union County.

I want us to cover your nonprofit fundraisers, your 5Ks, your children’s plays, concerts, Easter egg hunts, art shows, ribbon cuttings and more. And if for some reason we can’t be there, I invite you to send in photos and information for us to run in an upcoming edition. goes straight to me.

We’ll still cover our town boards extensively, but we’ll be focusing on the business at hand and the decisions that have to be made, and the effect those decisions have on our readers, rather than the politics that surround it.

Letters to the Editor are still invited, and encouraged, but starting next week, all letters will have to be limited to 300 words in order to ensure space for all contributors.

I know change is difficult, but I hope the changes we’re making here at the Union County Weekly will be nothing but positive.

We’ve already grown our education section and added a church section, both of which have been received very well.

In the coming weeks we’ll also be expanding our arts and entertainment section to make room for all of the events going on in the community and the people behind them.

Since graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2006, I’ve had a passion for community journalism and have worked for several community papers in the state, including the Richmond County Daily Journal, Carteret County News-Times, The Pilot and The Wake Weekly.

As editor, I believe it’s important the Union County Weekly be the community’s paper. Your resource for all the news you care about. I want all of our readers to feel like they can send in story ideas, photos, and other information, and they will be heard and responded to.

The thing I love most about community journalism is the ability to completely immerse myself in the community, learning all of its ins and outs, attending all the various events and seeing familiar faces wherever I go.

So you can be sure my team and I will be out in the community, in as many places as we can be at once, to make sure the stories important to you are being told.

And while we have our image of what we want the paper to be, we welcome your input and invite anyone to call or come by the office for a chat.

I’m extremely excited about this new chapter in my life, and the life of the Union County Weekly. And while I’ve only been editor for a week, I thank the community for welcoming me and very quickly bringing me up to speed on the various issues of the day.

I look forward to working with all of you.

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