Change worth making isn’t easy

Published 12:28 am Sunday, February 23, 2014

I’ve been told more than once during the past few months that it is imperative I develop a thick skin.

Unfortunately, I have yet to find any skin-thickening cream at any local drug store to hasten the process.

When I took the position as news editor near the end of October, I was under no illusion the job would be easy. I knew going into it that I would have to be the tie-breaker, so to speak, when tough editorial decisions had to be made. I would have to work late nights at the office or at home to make sure things got done.

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Time management, people management, et cetera, et cetera.

What I didn’t immediately foresee was that the buffer between any angry or disgruntled readers and myself would be dissolved when my predecessor left.

And it dissolved quickly.

Luckily, the scale tilts in favor of those people who can maintain rational behavior, logic and decency when they have concerns or complaints.

But there have been a few people who seem to think the only way to get their point across is to attack me or other staff members at The Tribune personally.

My intelligence, journalistic integrity and morals have been questioned by those few people who don’t even know me personally. I’ve been called a few very nasty names, sometimes directly and sometimes it gets back to me from other people.

So tell me, can we invent this skin-thickening cream, please?

I hate to admit it, but it really hurts to be thought of in such a negative way, even if it is by just a few people. Especially since I feel like I am a rational and approachable person.

But, as I have been told, and I understand now more than ever, there are always going to be people with negative attitudes who will want to spread it around like a virus.

Having said that, I know I’m not the only person who has experienced this phenomenon of negativity spread through their workplace or personal life.

Many people in the community have been abuzz about a recent column written by local freelance writer Billy Bruce, of Pedro.

In his column, Bruce proposed a new group of sorts called Death to Negative Attitudes (DNA).

If you care about Ironton and want to see it prosper, and you want to share ideas, you’re invited to be a member.

But, there are a few rules to follow if you want to be a member of DNA, Bruce explained.

Some of them are: Leave your grudges for others at the door; no gossiping, judging, insults or blaming allowed; everyone has a voice and the group is a unified team that must work together; and most importantly, everyone must remain positive.

And what started as a figurative idea to call attention to the need for more positive and goal-driven ideas to improve the city quickly manifested into a real idea.

The column spread locally via social media and within 12 hours of being published, a time was set for the first meeting of DNA.

Anyone interested in the mission of the group is welcomed and encouraged to attend the meeting at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Buffalo Wild Wings in Ironton.

Now I know what some of you must be thinking: “Change is easier said than done.”

Of course it is. So what?

The old saying, “You get what you pay for,” kind of applies in this situation.

Any change worth making isn’t easy and doesn’t come without cost.

Any change Ironton may see as a result of the people who come together for DNA will be a result of how much sincere work those people put into the cause.

It’s impossible to know what this fledgling group could accomplish, if anything, but it is certain that if things remain stagnant, no change will occur.

So why not give it a try? And as Bruce said in his column, “We have the talent. All we have to do is fill the roster and write a playbook.”


Michelle Goodman is the news editor at The Tribune. To reach her, call 740-532-1441 ext. 12 or by email at