Show Suffolk some love

Published 10:04 pm Monday, October 10, 2016

Despite being the commonwealth’s largest city by land area, in the grand scheme of things, Suffolk is often overlooked.

As a reporter, it is my job to report all things happening in Suffolk — specifically North Suffolk. At many local events in my beat, I am typically the only media presence on scene.

This may stem from the fact the Suffolk News-Herald prides itself on being a community newspaper. While metropolitan papers may have bigger fish to fry, Suffolk is still worthy of more media attention.

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Suffolk spans more than 420 square miles but still manages to have a small-town, hospitable feel. It’s the land of mom-and-pop shops, Southern hospitality and acres upon acres of farmland.

As the culture suggests, the news follows suit. It seems every week a church or an organization is hosting a community event. This is a good thing and needs to be highlighted.

The reason I believe the News-Herald is still circulating today is because it is a reflection of its people.

As North Suffolk has grown over the years, I feel the area is lumped under the moniker of a “small town.”

I think the contrary.

The growth of the Port of Virginia, the new housing developments and schools and the growing presence of retired servicemen and women in the area are worthy of more print and broadcast.

I feel large metropolitan cities almost spoil us as journalists because there is always something going on. While the competition for getting the story first is an obstacle, finding stories in these areas is relatively easy.

Now in cities like Suffolk, you really have to dedicate time to digging. I often spend my mornings driving all over town, stopping in churches, local businesses and schools to get the 411.

This can be difficult because at times because the well can be dry. But, when you find that unique story, it is definitely worth the effort.

I think this is what metropolitan papers need to get back to — more community coverage. They need to stop lumping community happenings into one tab in their papers and dedicate more real estate to these stories.


The community will feel more connected to those papers because they may see a friend, a relative or even themselves mentioned in print. Then, they tell their friends and family, and now you have more people reading your newspaper.

I feel this may be a step in the right direction in order to revive the deteriorating media industry. If something isn’t done to keep the community invested in their local media, there will be nothing left to invest in.