This includes media outlets, and specifically the newspaper reporters, who wrote about them. For any who are aspiring novelists, some of the ongoing stories from 2012 would be excellent fodder for a book. At the very least, it would be good reading for those with an avid interest in their hometown and who stay abreast of the ups and downs of its everyday life.
Key players who originate news events have the inside information so theirs is far more than a passing interest. Yet, it is the reporters — whether newspapers, radio or TV — who have followed the developments from day one.
It is why each December we at the Cleveland Daily Banner ask our newsroom staff — editors and staff writers alike — to offer their unique insight by voting on what they consider to be the top local news stories of the year. We do this because it serves as a reminder of past happenings and it gives readers an encapsulated history to help better understand where they have been and where they could be headed.
But mostly, we publish this annual news review because it gives the reporters and editors themselves a chance to weigh in. For the most part throughout the year, their role is to present the news as accurately, timely and consistently as possible given the information we have available. They might have personal opinions while providing news coverage, but at our newspaper it is taboo for such indiscretions to show up in news articles whose objectivity we hold to a high ground.
As any newspaper should, we limit our opinions to our opinion page, and we voice it in editorials and personal columns.
We always find it interesting to learn what our news staff — collectively — deems to be the most significant stories over the past year. Using the word “significant” does not imply good news, bad news or all that lies somewhere in the vast in between.
We say “significant” news with purpose.
Significant news enlightens. It is not necessarily devastating to an individual or group. It is not always uplifting to an organization nor cause. It can be investigative. It can be a development fresh out of a government meeting. It can be a positive influence on the community. It can be disheartening.
In this business, news is news. It is presented fairly by our writers — at least, that is our aim — who then leave it to the discretion of our readers, and the full community, to interpret.
With this in mind, we hope local news followers over the past couple of weeks found it interesting to learn how our newsroom ranked the top stories of 2012 — the very stories that they wrote.
For any who missed our 11-day series, here’s the list in its entirety:
No. 1: Wacker ups investment to $1.8 billion, opens first building.
No. 2: Voters reject wheel tax.
No. 3: (TIE) Legislature splits Bradley County in redistricting; and, a March 2 tornado splits the county as well.
No. 4: (TIE) Court ruling settles the sales tax dispute between city and county governments; and, Whirlpool launches production at its new plant.
No. 5: Two Bates brothers die from excessive heat.
No. 6: Sunset, Hilcrest cemeteries hit with maintenance concerns.
No. 7: Cleveland branded “The City With Spirit.”
No. 8: Cleveland Regional Jetport nears its opening.
No. 9: Publix Super Market coming to Cleveland.
No. 10: Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland builds its 100th house.
Our news team’s original ballot included more than 50 entries. Based on vote totals, a few “honorable mentions” included ongoing plans for the new Bradley County Veterans Home, scheduled improvements at Interstate 75 Exit 20 and the interchange connectors, Lee University’s expansion into downtown Cleveland and Lee’s acceptance into NCAA Division II, among others.
Our community has weathered another newsy year.
We have no reason to believe 2013 won’t be just as conversational.
To quote an adage now made more popular by a Kelly Clarkson lyric, “What doesn’t kill us will make us stronger.”
We believe 2012 has prepared us for our next test.
It is in this vein we welcome 2013.