Your local newspaper is standing up to a great international foe: “fake news.”

As national news sources plummet ever deeper into shock value and ratings, the Leesville Daily Leader and the Beauregard Daily News’ editorial staff are checking their personal bias at the door.

These dedicated journalists are wading through the vast landscape of news, which is clearly mired in opinion, bias and outright falsity. They do this not for fame or fortune but for one reason alone: to make sure readers have a reliable source to turn to when the internet and national news fail and flail on a regular basis.

With no frame of reference, I had zero expectations about Louisiana when my husband told me we were relocating to Fort Polk.

Born and raised in Pennsylvania, I was ignorant to “southern hospitality” and what real heat feels like.

While in Louisiana, I decided to take a break from a decade-long teaching career and give journalism a try. It has been a steep learning curve these last two years. This experience revealed a “calling” I always knew was there, but never acknowledged.

Certain universal truths were reaffirmed to me during my time as a reporter and editor in Vernon and Beauregard Parish. I was reminded that courtesy, honesty and reliability are priceless characteristics which can take a person further than any degree or certification. And I learned to see beyond differing opinions for the sake of preserving relationships.

You can rest easy knowing your local newspaper is working every day (and night) to shine an objective, thorough and ethically-derived light to guide you through the disorienting fog of “fake news.”

I conclude my oeuvre as your local editor in gratitude for my colleagues who had faith in me when I floundered, and for the local community who took me me in, trusted me and taught me about Louisiana at its core.

I’ve never encountered more generous people than during my stint in the south.

My first editor, Jim Butler, told me, “Ink gets in your veins.” I now understand what he meant.