Last November, someone came up to me at a Texas Tech football game and said “I hear you’re starting a newspaper.”
About a month or so ago, someone told me, “I hear you and Scott Mann are starting a blog.”
A few weeks ago, I heard someone refer to Lubbock Lights as a news website.
So what is Lubbock Lights?
It’s a website featuring opinion and commentary representing the Constitution and conservative values of Lubbock and West Texas.
We’ll also dabble in other issues we all like to talk about.
How this came together is briefly outlined in Scott Mann’s first column.
Put both of our initial columns together and it should answer most of the who, what, when, where, why and how – or the 5Ws and H as we were taught in journalism school.
Some people get the name immediately, others look at me kinda funny when I mention Lubbock Lights.
First, we didn’t want a name that sounded newsy.
The Texas Tribune website, uses a classic newspaper name.
They do news.
We do opinion and commentary.
Second, it sends two messages … it refers to the 1951 sighting of lights that many believe were unidentified flying objects. And yes, that’s a photo of the Lubbock Lights above. Also, it refers to the many different lights of conservative opinion there are in Lubbock, West Texas and beyond.
As for the name of my column, credit that to Scott Mann. It fits. Never had an inkling I’d live in Texas until coming here in 2006 to be editor of the Avalanche-Journal.
I like it here. Lots.
What you’ll find here
Columnists who will write about conservative issues.
Columnists who will write about other things – such as Driving In Lubbock, which I’m shepherding for now.
We’re using the term columnist – not bloggers.
A columnist – and maybe this shows myyears in the newspaper business – has a certain standing on opinion pages and websites.
Blogger can sound to me like someone in their basement at 3 in the morning banging on a keyboard claiming they found Sasquatch in Sudan.
(Besides, everyone knows he hangs out in Slaton – sneaking into the bakery at night!)
Scott and I started asking people if they knew people who were conservative and could write well.
We assembled a list.
Besides Scott and Terry, you’ll find four others.
Take a look at their columns and learn about them.
We’re very excited about these columnists and others who will be joining.
We all come from the conservative side and we share one other thing – we’re all independent voices. Lubbock Lights has no employees.
I will not tell Scott what to write or not write and vice versa and same with the columnists.
I do reserve the right to edit – but as much as possible I want to have a light editing touch.
If my hand gets heavy, it will be to promote civility.
Look at the place on our home page for submissions, click and see our standards where it says “don’t be a jerk.”
Speaking of submissions – please send us your articles – but don’t be a jerk.
And let me get out ahead of this … someone is not a jerk because they have a different idea than you may have. This is about how someone communicates their idea.
You can comment on stories through Facebook – which means you have to use your real name.
Again, don’t be a jerk. If you are, we’ll remove your comment.
We don’t have time to get into debates about why we won’t accept a submission or remove a comment … this is not a full-time gig for us.
I can’t tell you how much time I spent debating with A-J readers who said we were denying their First Amendments rights by removing a comment or not publishing a letter to the editor.
There is nothing in the First Amendment giving you the right to say something on someone’s website.
Then there’s They Did That or They Said That – pointing out something from the left that leaves us shaking our head.
We’ll also feature content from conservative sources – right now we feature a piece from Hillsdale College in Michigan.
There are two big headlines on the college’s website that sum up its mission:
“Hillsdale offers an education designed to equip human beings for self-government” and “Freedom can only last if you and I choose to act as people of character.”
What we’re not
We’re not a news organization.
We have no desire to compete with the Avalanche-Journal or TV stations.
Our goal is to fill a niche that no one is filling.
I may no longer be in the news business, but I want the A-J and TV stations to succeed – the more voices the better, even if we don’t agree.
There are still a lot of people in the A-J newsroom I hired and I only want the best for them.
Why just conservative?
I led newspaper newsrooms for 33 years and we had to represent all areas of the community because we were a general interest publication.
But media has grown and fractured.
Fox News and MSNBC are perfect examples.
I like to think of Lubbock Lights as a National Review for our piece of the planet on and off the caprock.
Is it fair to only have conservative viewpoints?
We’re open about it and know these views will resonate with a large majority of West Texans – not all, but a majority.
If you’re liberal, you’re more than welcome to visit Lubbock Lights unless your doctor says it’s affecting your blood pressure.
And maybe you’ll learn something.
What I’ve been doing
Since leaving the A-J in 2015, I started Greenberg Media Management where I do consulting, training, writing, editing and photography for clients.
People say “so it’s PR and marketing, right?”
Not really, I kinda do content for businesses and organizations that is written in a news style — not like press releases.
I no longer consider myself a journalist because my clients all approve what I write, which is fine.
As for Lubbock Lights, I consider myself a columnist with organizational responsibilities.
It’s not a job … it’s something I do along with working for my clients.
Like what you’ve read so far?
If you like Lubbock Lights, please like our Facebook page so you’ll know when something new is posted and help us build a community.
If you like an article, please post it on your Facebook page.
And if you’d like to advertise on Lubbock Lights, we’d be happy to talk to you – email us at [email protected]
Also, coming soon we’ll tell you how you can be a member of Lubbock Lights, much like public TV and radio support.
We are a business – but speaking of being conservative – we’re keeping our costs very low.