Ghosts of news pages past

Published 9:40 pm Thursday, August 24, 2017

Recently, we’ve started to look at previous editions of the LaGrange Daily News more often.

It is interesting to see what was happening in Troup County decades ago. In the narrow lines of newsprint the history of local businesses, schools and even families is laid out and preserved for later generations. Whether a paper is from 10 years ago or 100 years ago, the march of time is visible. Businesses have come and gone. New buildings have been built. Old structures have been converted to new uses or leveled in the name of progress. People have stepped forward to change the community for better or worse.

The words on this page — as simple as they are — serve as a first draft of history. What will later generations think as they view these pages? Will they focus on the  businesses whose openings and expansions we discuss on these pages? Years from now, those reviewing these archived pages will know with certainty of the successes and failures that have yet to occur, and will surely judge the pages accordingly.

Maybe they will wonder — as we in the newsroom sometimes do — why an event that must have happened was not covered or only received a brief mention in the local paper. Or maybe future generations will wonder why we put so much emphasis on certain events.

As a newspaper, we do our best to learn from those who came before us. When we look back and see not a word of local coverage on events like the eclipses that passed over Georgia (which was discussed in a national article in the paper, but no local attention) or only a brief mention of the opening of a plant that would later become a major manufacture and top employer in the area, we shake our heads and silently vow to do better in the future.

So, we make sure that this time, both our readers in the here and now and those who will refer back to these pages in the future will know what happened here.

We carefully mark the successes, the progress and the celebrations alongside the failures and grievances. Those are all important parts of the fabric of our community, and we think they deserve to be recognized, now and in the years to come.