Time flies


As I stated in my graduation speech before my classmates nearly three months ago, time flies. This could not be further from the truth, as my summer internship at the Perry County Republic-Monitor is already coming to an end. 
Throughout the summer, the breadth of knowledge and the invaluable experience I have gained in the areas of writing, interviewing, and communicating in general, will no doubt prove to be crucial skills in my planned career path. 
With a combination of pointers and tips from the Republic-Monitor staff, as well as instruction from the online “Earn Your Press Pass” program sponsored by the Missouri Press Association, I believe that I rapidly improved my writing skills, specifically in the AP format which is used in the articles and stories that are in the paper every week. 
When interviewing people for articles and other news stories, I learned from publisher Robert Cox to always ask the interviewee if there was anything that I missed, or a question that I should have asked them.
Not only did this help me get the full story from the interviewee, it also served as a good lesson for communication in all aspects of life. To be successful in our society, it seems like you must be willing to take charge by talking quite a bit.
This small piece of advice from Mr. Cox allowed me to realize that listening is just as vital, if not more vital, than talking. Listening allows a person to gather information and opens up the mind in order to form a more informed opinion on any subject that dominates the headlines or the supper table. 

To add to the variety of skills that I learned at the Republic-Monitor, I also expanded upon my deep appreciation for small-town journalism. 
As a proud citizen of Perryville and the county, I can say without hesitation that having a weekly newspaper reporting on the local news and happenings is part of what makes our community flourish.
For a town of roughly 8,500 people and a county of approximately 19,000, Perryville and Perry County are incredibly fortunate to continue to have a robust newspaper that many towns our size have lost in the last decade in a worrying trend of small, local newspaper closures all across the United States. 
To that end, I encourage all readers to continue to support our local newspaper as well as encourage others to do the same to ensure the succeeding generations of Perry County residents have access to this diligent organization that works very hard to keep us all informed. 
Drew Layton is a 2023 graduate of Perryville High School. He will be attending George Washington University in Washington this fall.