We got word today that many of our colleagues in North Carolina, particularly our sister papers in Wilmington and New Bern had stayed behind to cover the news.
It's not unusual when a hurricane comes in for newspeople to either enter the area or remain behind.
No one bats an eye at the first responders who stay behind in these things to do their jobs — it's their job.
But newspaper people do the same thing, we stay because someone has to report, to get the information the public needs in the aftermath. We do it because it's our job.
I have issues with the national media on some things, but keep in mind that community journalists are often very courageous and dedicated people. It takes guts to ride out a major hurricane to be ready to get the information people need in the aftermath. Often they stay as well because those who are leaving need up-to-date information, and then it's too late.
It takes guts in a small town to call out the mayor or the city manager or a prominent businessman when they're doing something wrong.
We live in town and we have to work with these people, go to church or bowling league with them — or their supporters — after the story comes out.
We are the dedicated war correspondents who put their lives on the line for a story, crime reporters who see the worst of humanity on a daily basis and remain strong to tell the story of the victims.
We're the features reporter who writes the story of the child dying of cancer who wants nothing but to have one more Christmas or birthday.
We're the education reporter who goes the extra mile to show why the expenditures by the board were necessary or — not.
The journalists of the Carolinas are doing yeoman work today, they're risking their lives by staying behind.
Like those of us safely inland they're not doing it for the money (there's precious little of that), they're not doing it for the glory — that will be forgotten the next time they do call out the mayor — they're not doing it for fame, their names will likely only ever be known by the people of their community.
No, they're doing it for the same reason the first responders are — it's their job. It's what they do.
I'm not saying they're heroes — they're just average journalists doing their job — because it's what they do.
But my hat is off to all of them, and Wilimington Star-News? New Bern Sun-Journal? You guys ever make it out this way, the first round is on me.
All IMHO, of course.
— Patrick Richardson is the managing editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @PittEditor.