Up & Coming Weekly

July 14, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM JULY 15-21, 2020 UCW 9 REBECCA BRITTON, Cofound- er of Britton Law.. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. TO THE EDITOR Revisiting the "Eulogy for the Fourth Estate?" Editors note: On Feb. 19, 2018, Up & Coming Weekly published an article called "Eulogy for the Fourth Estate." We quoted former Fayetteville Observer publisher, Charles Broadwell, in that article. He recently reached out to UCW. Here is a link to the piece in its entirety. https:// www.upandcomingweekly.com/ views/4794-eulogy-for-the-fourth- estate With so much going on in the world and with the professional news media being tested in unprec- edented ways these days, I wanted to clarify something that was published in Up & Coming Weekly from Febru- ary 2018. Yes, that was a long time and many news cycles ago. But the article, headlined "Eulogy for the Fourth Estate?" has been gnawing at me because of a quote attributed to me as the former publisher of e Fayetteville Observer. e article focused on changes to e Observer since our family-owned company sold the newspaper in 2016. It included a lengthy excerpt from a piece published by e American Prospect about the decline of community-based newspapers across the country that quoted me as saying, after the sale of e Observer, that "It was like walking around at my own funeral." e American Prospect writer did his job and quoted me accurately; in fact, he called me back after the interview to double-check things. What somehow got lost in trans- lation, unfortunately, is that my comment was simply about how I felt after the sale. I had just learned that I would no longer be part of e Observer after a transition period. I knew it was likely that any new owner would want to bring in a new publisher, but the reality had hit me hard that my life at the newspaper was over. So that was the reason for my comment that inspired the head- line — no more, no less. I decided to let it pass instead of stirring up more dust, trusting that my former colleagues would under- stand, but I regret if this self-focused (if not self-centered) comment may have left the wrong impression. In my last column for e Observer four years ago this month, I ex- pressed my faith in the newspaper's enduring strength, and that's exactly how I felt. Today, facing even more challenges than we did during my 16-year tenure as publisher, the good people of e Observer continue to work hard to serve the community every day. ey are personal heroes to me. ank you for allowing me to clear the air and clear my conscience. — Charles Broadwell Former publisher of e Fayetteville Observer Distracted driving — the scary reality by REBECCA BRITTON LEGALLY SPEAKING We have all seen the distracted drivers — missing a light change, drifting out of their lane, slamming into the back of vehicles slowing or stopped for traffic. ey are usually deep in conversation or are looking down texting on their phone. North Carolina drivers might be more aware of the dangers of texting and driving. Still, studies show that they — and motorists throughout the country — are not only getting dis- tracted in their driving by cellphone calls and texting, but also gaming and social media while they drive. In one study by Students Against Destructive Decisions and Liberty Mutual Insurance, people of high school age were asked to rank dis- tracting activities by how dangerous they were. Only 6% chose posting to or looking at social media as the most dangerous. A quarter said that writing a text message was the most dangerous, and 29% named driving under the influence. e National Safety Council sur- veyed 2,400 drivers of all ages and found that nearly three-quarters would use Facebook while driv- ing. Nearly one-third said that they would use Instagram and more than one-third said that they would use YouTube and Twitter while behind the wheel. e National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that daily, more than 1,000 people are injured, and eight are killed as a result of distracted driving. e National Safety Council says that around a quarter of all crashes hap- pen due to phone-related distrac- tions. However, because the num- bers often depend on self-reporting, many experts believe estimates are too low. When someone causes a crash and injuries or death, however, law enforcement will likely check cell phones and vehicle data recorders. Attorneys also regularly subpoena cellphone records in auto injury and death claims and seek downloads from vehicle crash data. So, what do we do to protect our- selves? Put your phones away when you are driving — even if you are not one of those folks who text and drive or otherwise. Phones are a distrac- tion from safe driving, period. ere is nothing that cannot wait until you get to your destination. Next, protect yourself by having adequate insur- ance coverage. If you are significant- ly harmed by a distracted driver who carries minimum limits ($30,000 in liability coverage), you need ad- equate underinsured coverage on your own policy to protect yourself. I recommend at least $100,000 in uninsured/underinsured protection. e reality is that we have no con- trol over the decisions and actions of other drivers. We can control our own decisions and actions to drive safely and protect ourselves with adequate insurance coverage. Distracted driving is dangerous. Know how to protect yourself and those around you. Go Online 910-484-6200 www.upandcomingweekly.com Flip our pages for news, views, art and entertainment! Call and ask one of our marketing representatives to help you grow your business.

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