Newspaper owner apologizes and seeks amends
Jerry Edwards profusely apologized for the cartoon that appeared three weeks ago in the Journal. At the lectern at the Seneca City Hall, Edwards directed his apologies last night to a group of African-Americans seated behind him and to the mayor and council in front of him. As was explained by his paper the day after the cartoon appeared, Edwards said the printing of the cartoon was an “honest mistake” that made its way into the paper late at night when the staff worked to ensure that election results got into the next day’s paper. The cartoon proved offensive to African-Americans and to Democrats, and not all in last night’s meeting room were willing to accept the apologies. Seven of last night’s public comment session called for the city to stop its advertisement and other printing arrangements with their hometown newspaper. Edwards said The Journal is intent on repairing the bad feelings, partly thru financial support for a local group, to develop a former school building into a community center in the Perry Hill Community. The former school building was once an all-black high school during segregation, and today remains a cherished part of Seneca’s African-American community. Edwards appealed to the mayor and council to not cut their financial support of his paper and offered to match dollar-by-dollar of the city’s advertisement payments to the Blue Ridge Community Center project. Scott Moulder, city administrator, told 101.7/WGOG NEWS that there is money included in the next city budgets for advertising, but no decisions have been made as to how and where those monies will be spent.