Bill Malone, DeWayne Johnson, Celine Gladwin, Brian Childress, Leigh Touchton, Floyd Rose, Gary Wisenbaker, Andy Ostapski, Angela Penn, Arthur Morin, Amanda Johnson, Beverly Richardson, Cheryl Oliver, Jessica Pope, to name a few. 

Smart.

Funny.

Insightful.

Passionate. 

Reasonable. 

Articulate. 

Thoughtful.

And, above all else, civil. 

They are not alone. Other men and women in the community stop by for brief visits, call on the telephone, email and chat with us when we are out and about in the community. 

We listen to them. 

We learn from them. 

They refine us, make us better and help us understand all parts of our community. 

They are diverse. 

They are conservative, liberal and everything in between. 

They are from Valdosta, Lowndes County and South Georgia. 

Some were born and raised here and others chose to move here for a variety of reasons. 

A large part of being a community newspaper is being in touch with the community, talking with and listening to a wide swath, a real cross-section of the community on a regular basis. 

The women and men who sit on the newspaper’s community advisory board and its editorial board do not always see everything the same way and do not always agree on controversial issues.

They are, however, civil, reasonable and intellectually honest. 

Their role is a fascinating — and extremely important — one. 

It is a bit ironic but while they serve as the eyes and ears of the newspaper in many ways, they also serve as the eyes and ears of the community in just as many ways. 

They share with the newspaper what they are hearing from the community but they also share with the community what they learn from the newspaper. It is a two-way street and a treasured resource for the newspaper. 

They help put the community in community newspapering. 

A newspaper must be connected to its community and while that may include interactions on social media, it must not be isolated or regulated to those kinds of interactions. 

There is simply no replacement for people talking, really talking, to people face to face, eyeball to eyeball in good, robust, candid, authentic, honest-to-goodness conversations. 

And when it comes to good conversations with good, honest conversationalists none are better than Bill Malone, DeWayne Johnson, Celine Gladwin, Brian Childress, Leigh Touchton, Floyd Rose, Gary Wisenbaker, Andy Ostapski, Angela Penn, Arthur Morin, Amanda Johnson, Beverly Richardson, Cheryl Oliver, Jessica Pope, to name a few. 

If you would like to be part of those quality conversations at the newspaper — a part of the community advisory board or editorial board — and have good, productive and — above all else — civil conversations, stop by the office and ask for the editor, call or, if you prefer, send an email to jzachary@cnhi.com.

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