Editorial: Georgetown Times celebrates 215 years

  • Tuesday, May 7, 2013

215 Years Ago ...

The Georgetown Gazette began publication. That newspaper is the direct ancestor of the Georgetown Times, which you hold in your hands today.
As best we can tell, today is our birthday.
The front page of today’s paper has a reprint of a portion of the masthead of the Georgetown Gazette from January 24, 1801. That issue of the paper was Vol. IV, No. 216.
On May 8, 1798, John Burd and a Mr. Elliott brought out the first issue of the Georgetown Gazette. Older issues of the Georgetown Times showed a beginning year of 1797, but the paper printed 215 years ago today is the oldest that’s available.
History is important. If we don’t learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it.
But we also have to look forward to the future. Both of those are duties we work hard every day to fulfill in the pages of South Carolina’s oldest newspaper.
Over the course of 215 years we’ve covered wars and rumors of wars, indigo, rice, slavery, freedom, voting, segregation and integration. There have been boom times and bust times.
Georgetown has been home to the greatest levels of rice production, the world’s largest lumber mill, paper mill, and the area has also sunk into bad and stagnant economic times.
Through it all, though, your hometown newspaper has shared the news of our community with our readers.

Serving the community

We’ve grown to publish not only the Georgetown Times, but also the weekly Waccamaw Times for Pawleys Island and Litchfield and just last year we began the Inlet Outlook, serving Murrells Inlet and Garden City Beach every week.
Our County Chronicle shopper serves the northern and western parts of the county.
Online, our Web sites:
www.gtowntimes.com and
serve more than 60,000 “unique visitors” every month.
Our Facebook page for the Georgetown Times has more than 10,000 “likes” and Inlet Outlook has about 400 of its own “likes.”
In print and online we cover Georgetown County and literally stretch around the world with print and digital publications.
We reach far more people, in more ways, and faster than ever before.
Are we perfect? No.
But we serve up the best coverage there is for hometown news for Georgetown County.
Over the course of the year we’ll be sharing some of the historic pages from the Georgetown Times with our readers.

Variety of tastes

We publish pictures of the big vegetables people grow, high school and Rec Department sports, city and county council and school board meetings, beauty queens and church happenings.
A pair of phone calls on Monday are instructive.
One caller said she’s disappointed with some of the stories we’ve written lately, because these are about some really nice people.
She wouldn’t be specific and we won’t guess, but that was a little disappointing.
About 20 minutes after her phone call, though, we received an e-mail from someone who had quoted from a nearby newspaper in a submission to us.
That person was told we’ll be glad to have the benefit of his thoughts, but we won’t use something from another paper.
He rewrote his material and sent it along, adding “Georgetown Times is better anyway.”
Yes, we sometimes write things about nice people that aren’t flattering.
But to go back a decade ago, when another person offered a complaint about coverage: “If you don’t do the bad stuff, we won’t have bad stuff to write about.”
If you want to know about what’s happening in our community — the good and the bad, the hard-hitting news and the feature stories — then keep on checking out your hometown paper.
And thanks for reading.

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