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By Eric Frederick, NC Local Newsletter Editor
Many North Carolina newsrooms have done a splendid job covering the Moore County blackout since an attack on substations on the night of December 3 took tens of thousands of people off the grid for days. But none has done so more admirably than the staff of The Pilot, the 102-year-old, family-owned newsroom in Southern Pines. They’re not only covering the story; they’re living it.
The Pilot staff has kept their community connected to information and help throughout, while themselves doing without heat, light, easy internet, hot showers, warm food. They’ve kept us informed with running updates, including news on the investigation; they’ve updated us on the progress of the repairs; they’ve reported how residents are coping, how businesses are surviving and how the community is coming together; they’ve told people where and how they can get help; and they’ve reported on the drag show that’s at the center of attention as folks try to figure out why this happened.
I talked with reporter Jaymie Baxley late Monday about the experience. Here’s our conversation, lightly edited for length and clarity: