This is your invitation. 

You are invited to Coffee, Tea and the VDT this Thursday. 

We are inviting you to come visit with us and talk about your community newspaper at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, at the Willis L. Miller (main branch) Public Library, 2906 Julia Drive, Valdosta. 

It is an open public forum and everyone is welcome. 

This is all a part of what we have been calling Lifting the Veil.

This new commitment to newsroom transparency includes BudgetLive, our weekly live-streamed news planning meeting where you can participate real time as we plan coverage and newsroom strategies. We are also live-streaming our editorial board meetings once a month where you can sit in on our meetings with staff and community members as we discuss issues facing our community.

Our new podcast series, “The Story Behind the Story,” gives you a chance to hear reporters and editors talk about the reporting and news-gathering process, the reasons behind a particular story and the challenges faced by the journalists.

Then there is our Video Editorial Series where our editors sit down and talk to you about the genesis and thoughts behind a particular editorial, often times tackling controversial issues important to the community.

This level of transparency in a community newspaper is pretty much unprecedented.

We have a great community advisory board where community members from all walks of life meet with us each month to provide input and feedback but now we want to hear from even more of you.

That’s why we are hosting Coffee, Tea and The VDT.

Everyone is welcome.

It will be a town hall type gathering.

We promise to be open, transparent and understanding.

Our interests in how you think and feel are genuine.

You don’t have to come to complain but it is certainly OK if you do.

We care a lot about what you think and how you feel about your local newspaper. 

This year has been a pivotal year for The Valdosta Daily Times. We have been doing a lot of new things. We have also been doing a lot of the same old things. 

We like to think of it as reaching for the future while preserving our rich legacy serving this community with the news and information you expect. 

Of course, we make mistakes along the way. When we make mistakes, we hear about it. And that’s OK; we should expect to hear from you when we disappoint you. 

You make us better. 

It is impossible to be all things to all people all the time and we know that everyone will not agree with every decision. Still, our goal is to serve our community and to always be the leading source of news and information while providing you vehicles to market your goods and services as well. 

We may be able to explain why we do what we do the way we do it but we won’t be defensive about it, and you might be able to help us think through some things as we work to daily improve ourselves and serve you with news and information.

Of course, we expect to hear from our critics and we think that is important. Yes, there may be things we will disagree about but we promise to always listen. 

Our commitment is to being Your News. Your Voice. Your Times. 

We look forward to seeing you Thursday evening at the library.

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