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Remember the month of ‘Govember’ BEHIND THE BYLINES Christopher J. Hughes

Thank you.

There’s not much more a man can say after the outpouring of support behind the no-shave Govember effort we embarked on more than four weeks ago.

Through the support of readers, both familiar and unfamiliar with Go Lackawanna, we did what I had only hoped would truly happen.

When we officially launched the Govember campaign in support of good journalism on Nov. 2, 18 new fans joined us on Facebook, according to our analytics. Over the course of the month, your shares and likes and laughs at my continually growing facial hair brought us 121 new Facebook fans and 41 Twitter followers.

That’s up to 162 new readers gathering news from another source in our area to keep themselves informed. Since then, we’ve added a Go Lackawanna page to the Google+ network, too.

I can’t say thank you nearly as many times as is necessary for the outpouring of support.

Getting up and doing this job isn’t always easy. Staying up late to complete it is sometimes even harder.

But the constant thumbs-ups and comments on how Grizzly Adams-ish I was becoming made dealing with my wife’s verbal jabs worth it.

Having John scratch my beard every night while reading bedtime stories with him, then turning to watch him scratch his own imaginary beard, made it worth it, too.

Over the course of the month, we only lost seven fans, Facebook reports in its page insights. I often wish we could find the users who no longer follow us to see what made them unfriend us faster than an ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend.

Regardless, we asked you to support good journalism and recognized that the phrase means something different to everyone.

For me, as the editor here, it’s pretty simple.

It means finding the facts, talking to people about the issues they care about and expanding on them, reporting without protecting or attacking a person just because of who they are or where they work, and commending or criticizing our communities and elected officials when necessary.

We did that again this week, as we have since this paper began publishing under its current name in June 2010.

This edition carries reports on President Barack Obama, local arts and culture, criminally charged public employees, and outstanding area athletes. They’re each pieces I’m proud to print.

You may read or have even noticed yourself how tough times have resulted in smaller printed editions, but it hasn’t resulted in any diminished ethics. Newsprint and ink cost money, but making decisions on how and what to report in a fair and balanced manner is priceless.

I’m glad that you support that.

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