By Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
April 1, 2022
The time has come,’ the Walrus said,
To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —
Of cabbages — and kings —
It is a sobering thought that the Fernandina Observer, with its all-volunteer staff of editor, reporters, writers, and photographers, will soon celebrate its 10th anniversary. What started out primarily as reports on happenings in Fernandina Beach City government, blossomed over the years to include reports from Nassau County government and reports of community highlights from our non-profit organizations, cultural and environmentally focused institutions and groups.
In recent years the Fernandina Observer even expanded its coverage to include the good, bad and sometimes ugly news from Tallahassee.
And then there was Covid. We tried to keep readers informed on vaccination sites, numbers of cases and trends, as the virus spread throughout the state.
Ten years ago, those of us who pioneered the Fernandina Observer, had no idea whether our efforts would be well received by the public, whom we were trying to inform. We anxiously read the initial comments. By and large, we were gratified that most readers received our newsblog enthusiastically.
Of course, we also received criticism. Some felt we were too biased toward the left — that dreaded “liberal” word. Others chastised us for being tools of the right. Those comments, taken as a whole, convinced us that our “down the middle” approach to reporting local news was probably just where it should be.
We also took pride in hosting our local candidates’ forums over the years with the help of long-time moderator Larry Myers. These forums, along with our giving the candidates a platform to answer written questions, have been widely praised for helping to inform City voters.
But to all things there is a season. On its 10th anniversary this May, the pioneers of the Fernandina Observer will formally bid our readers and advertisers adieu, adding our thanks for their support over the years. This decision has not been taken lightly. But time marches on, and so must we.
We know that our readers are accustomed to getting pranked on April 1, April Fool’s Day. So is this report just another April Fool’s tale, or is it true?
Giving up doesn’t always mean you are weak. Sometimes it means that you are strong enough to let go. ~Author unknown