I love what I do. I love where I do it. And I love for whom I do it. After all, without readers — in print, online, on a phone or tablet — we don't have a reason to exist.

Times Free Press Publisher Walter E. Hussman Jr. spoke eloquently about what we do in an interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News. And he spoke directly about restoring faith in newspapers.

Hussman didn't mince words. The media has lost the trust of many people because they perceive bias in reporting and writing and not enough separation between news and opinion.

" ... Our role is to gather all the facts — verifiable facts — we can, give those to the readers, let them determine what the truth is," Hussman told Carlson.

To be sure, the newspaper industry (along with our cousins in the broadcast and radio arena) is under siege. We must embrace the truth that the appearance of bias is almost as bad as actual bias.

The ultimate death blow for newspapers will come when we stop trying to serve the readers.

And, as Hussman rightly stated, that starts with trust. Your trust. We must earn it, then we must keep it.


All about the free

OK, Chattanooga loves a good list ranking.

Best town ever. Worst city on the map.

Across the spectrum, we turn up on a myriad of lists, good and bad.

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Jay Greeson

The most recent one I saw is a little bit different.

Chattanooga is 30th on the list of best cities in America for freelancers. Freelancers are, of course, writers who for a lack of better description are contract employees.

The grading scale — which has Spokane, Washington, No. 1 and Lexington, Kentucky, last of the major burgs in America — was based on understandable criteria such as internet speed and eyebrow-popping categories like most Starbucks per 100,000 people.

So there's that, and welcome to town, freelancers.


Obit observation

There are so many stories I wish I could share and so many folks I wish I had known when combing through the week's announcements of those we have lost.

Here's another one.

Meet Donald Duncan, who died earlier this month a few days after turning 75.

Here's the nut graph of his obit: "Don is survived by his wife, Sandra Waldrep Duncan, with whom he shared 54 years of University of Alabama football. The two were married two months after his long-time girlfriend introduced them at church in Tuscaloosa his senior year. (The family is unclear of the exact date he broke up with his previous girlfriend.)"

And before you think that was the highlight of the death notice, well, buckle up.

Donald's proudest moment: "My son David is a cloud architect who travels the globe working on open source software; my daughter Deanna is an MD who started Hearth Hospice and has beaten Stage 4 Breast Cancer; my grandsons Duncan and Preston Cannon are wonderful, gorgeous, and clever with bright futures."

He was a devoted volunteer, a frequent Santa fill-in, and a supremely accomplished rocket scientist. Seriously.

And on this day — the third Saturday in October when Alabama is going to walk Tennessee to the woodshed — this line may offer the biggest smile for the entire Duncan family.

"Family and Don's close friends will party at Deanna's house Saturday afternoon in place of a traditional funeral."


Contact Jay Greeson at