Word of Wisdom: Promise Kept

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Contributing Editor Walt Pickut
Contributing Editor Walt Pickut

In some places a handshake still seals an unbreakable promise. It was like that in the old days, and it still works today.

In diamond districts around the world, for example, even multi-million dollar deals for the most magnificent of gems are sealed with a firm handshake and exchanging an ancient phrase that blesses the fortune changing hands. And the laws of just about every nation on Earth will recognize and enforce it.

So, a promise is a promise is a promise, not ever to be broken.

Ten years ago this month, the Jamestown Gazette published its first edition with a promise to do it again. Since April 11, 2011, we have faithfully kept that promise 509 more times—51 weeks every year with only one week off for Christmas and New Year.

That first edition was our handshake with everyone who picked up a paper that day

  • We made some promises to you that day. So, to celebrate our ten-year anniversary this week, here are some promised we made in our very first editorial on April 11, 2011:
  • We promised to bring you “news you can use, to inspire you to explore many of the unique shops and one-of-a-kind businesses that dot Chautauqua County, and help you meet people doing amazing jobs and making an important difference in the world.”
  • Concerning the news, we promised to respect your intelligence and not commit the “subtle bigotry of low expectations…the dumbing down of the media more and more people are complaining about.”
  • We promised never to over simplify the issues and concerns in our stories.”
  • We said “We expect you to care deeply about our community. We’ll empower you to make a difference.”

I hope you’ll agree that we have kept those promises, we’ve respected your handshake, and we’ve served all the new communities we’ve added to our circulation since then.

And just in case the closest newsstand would be too far away one day, or in case you had traveled to the farthest place on Earth, we made two more promises:

  • No matter where you are, we promised to be there with you. “You’ll also be able to pick up your copy of the Jamestown Gazette on line at www.jamestowngazette.com.”
  • And I promised you’d enjoy the read.

Promises kept!

Walt Pickut

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Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.