As I sit here from the seat of our new endeavor, trying not to let my eyes get caught on the bustle of downtown, distracting me from my new-found and long-standing duties, I also find myself so intrigued by today's story on the history of this publication’s past.
More editors, owners, publishers, than I had realized. All I'm sure, for many reasons, pursuing a path of local news. For myself, it was a then 27-year-old, and definitely young man, looking for a foothold, knowing only that he wanted it to be something that would root him at home and give him some sort of a creative opportunity. Backed into a corner by my mother's "encouragement" and idea, with a mortal fear of public speech in any form, I relented. And with a very rocky, and completely inexperienced beginning, Your News Today turned into, not just a livelihood, but a staple for hometown TV news that I am forever proud of.
And now on this fourth day of 2018 I find my thoughts gracing the pages of nearly a century of Salyersville and Magoffin County history, with countless emotions rushing to the front of my mind. I can't go any further without thanking my beloved family and friends and viewers whom I consider both, who have made all this a reality. And I can't help but take great pride in bringing the Independent back to downtown, into an old building with such history that we have lovingly refurbished. An inviting structure and atmosphere that I hope will only add to its growth and continued success. I can't help but wonder what my name sake, Henry Ritter the first, would think and what words he would so eloquently use.
Even after 19 years, I find it all so terribly exciting and filled with so many firsts. I have instantly become a part of a team of exceptional individuals, some like myself, self-taught, and all so talented and dedicated to their art. And it is an art. Only a single day of collaboration has proven both thrilling and educational, so much that I will lose sleep in anticipation of tomorrow. It is also an incredible responsibility that neither of us take lightly or for granted. I pledge that every sentence, every word will have purpose. To inform, to enlighten, to impact and to get us all more involved. We will strive to stir as much discussion and create as much inspiration as possible. And as a man who in the late 1800s bought what was then a very meager New York Times said, "we promise to give the news impartially, without fear of favor, regardless of party, sect or interests involved.” And to that I add, that we will do so with integrity, compassion and kindness toward all our neighbors proving all the while that I consider this pen not only a challenge but also a privilege.
With overwhelming thanks and sincerity,
Henry Ritter Mortimer II