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Magee: Thanks for being good friends, neighbors

Thank you.

That’s the message I want to share with you all as this year comes to an end.

You, our friends, neighbors and readers are valued more than you could imagine.

And, the support I have received in returning home to Oxford has been humbling, to say the least.

It is good to be home.

Rarely will I use this space for such detail, but as we near the end of the year a personal note of thanks and an update of both where we stand and where we hope to go seems important.

First, where we stand: We have made progress in the past six months and I have read each of the personal notes sent with either praise of constructive criticism carefully.

But just because we have made improvements in recent months doesn’t mean we are through with this effort.

Where we plan to go: In 2017 we plan to bring more reporting on the issues that matter most. And, we will continue to bring you more quality voices to represent insight into Oxford, Lafayette County, Ole Miss and the state of Mississippi.

Our goal is simple: Become in the next two years one of the best small daily newspapers in America.

That’s aggressive, yes, but why not?

Oxford is one of the best small towns in America, though there remains much work to be done. So it should have a source for community and information that meets that same ideal.

That’s not going to be easy, since small is the operative word. As much as Oxford has grown in recent years, we are still a very small city by any standard.

But size doesn’t have to be a hindrance. It’s about making the best of what we have so that our size becomes an actual asset.

At this newspaper, our small size means that you can still reach out and touch someone very easily. We are sensitive to your feedback, and we value it.  When you send me a letter or email, I take in every word.

Our small size also means that we are not too big to cover local government or local high schools. We still care about the school plays, and whether or not that subdivision next to you gets approved.

That’s no longer the case at many community papers these days.

So we believe that by taking those advantages of being small, and adding more in-depth reporting, and more reporting about the issues that matter most in Oxford, we can become, like this city, one of the best in America.

It will take some work, and time. But we can get there.

I told someone the ambition the other day and they laughed, suggesting I keep the thought to myself.

Less pressure if you don’t tell anyone, they said.

That’s true. But, I would rather share the ideal, so that when we get there, together, we can celebrate, together.

Thank you, again, for your support, and for being such meaningful friends and neighbors.

David Magee is Publisher of The Eagle.