There are a lot of things that can happen by accident.
You could fall down, forget to pay a bill, hurt someone’s feelings. The list of types of accidents are as numerous as stars in the universe; however, starting a news site is generally not on that list.
It happened though, this past week. While purchasing domain hosting for an unrelated website project I did a regular check of available website names. It’s a thing I do perhaps yearly, and have never had much luck in finding a good name to settle upon.
But there it was – pendletonwv.com. Short, simple, relevant, but most importantly, available.
I’ll say more in a mission statement that I hope to draft soon, but the online news experiment has officially begun.
It’s something that has been on my mind as early as 2002, when I envisioned it as more of a satirical site. The Panhandler was my working title, and it would make light of the current events of the area.
Perhaps that has always been part of my love/hate relationship with news. I’ve just never had the gumption to take it seriously for much of my career. To this day I’ve quipped that newspapers would look much better if they didn’t have all the words on them.
That said, printed news is to be very much taken seriously. They say the pen is mightier than the sword, and this is true. Even greater in the context of this age of advanced weaponry. Swords have become guns, which have become missiles, which have become WMDs; but the stroke of a journalist’s pen carries the same power that it did 200 years ago.
While the means of creation (journalism) is more or less the same, the delivery system is what has advanced, which is why a news website for Pendleton County is vital.
It’s hard not to talk about news and Pendleton County without bringing up my time at The Pendleton Times. I was hired full time in 2003 for the specific purpose of building a website for the newspaper. Shortly before its completion, the plug was pulled on the project.
To this day no functioning website exists. The only thing hosted by the domain name is an image of what the site could look with a “coming soon” starburst near the bottom. According to the image’s meta data, it has been there since October of 2012.
In short, Pendleton County deserves a news website, and I have always been about giving Pendleton County what it deserves. Fortunately, this is something that sits within my capabilities. It’s not exactly an endeavor I wanted to take on my own, but here we are.
And here we go.