Earlier this week, the local daily paper announced the retirement of one of its long-serving employees – reporter and photographer extraordinaire William White.
We were all saddened to hear this.
For 27 years, White has been a fixture in this community, covering a variety of events and happenings too numerous to mention.
It’s hard to know where to start in praising White’s journalistic abilities – his steadfast integrity, his careful choice of words, his ability to ask probing and thought-provoking questions.
We must praise his photographic skills, as his photos have graced the pages of our daily paper and our refrigerators for decades.
But, why ask us about him? Why not ask the people he’s covered?
White has long held the county commission as a part of his beat, so we asked County Commissioner Robert Ham for his thoughts:
“Newly elected officials are cautioned about watching what we say around the press, particularly until you learn who you can trust.
It took me no time at all to realize that I, as an individual commissioner, and the Lee County Commission as a body had a ready-made trust relationship with William White.
William always accurately and fairly reported what we said and did.
I appreciated his honesty and his insight. I especially admired his photographic skills and the great photo-journalism pieces he did for the News.
We’ll surely miss William White.”
We couldn’t have said it better, Mr. Ham.
While we’ll miss all these things about William White, what we’re truly upset by is loss of a great community journalist.
White’s passion and zeal for fairly representing his community is a rare commodity these days.
His kindness and acceptance to treat all stories with equal dignity and respect are almost unheard of now.
His byline, one we actively scoured for each and every day, will be greatly missed by everyone who truly cares about Lee County and good reporting.
Mr. White, thank you for your dedication and service to the people of this area.
We certainly hope you will continue to be a presence in this area, but we certainly wish you relaxation and enjoyment in your retirement.
Best of luck, sir.