COLUMN: Thank you for your support
Over the last few days, our hearts have been heavy mourning the loss of Demetrius Thompson. Good ole Demetrius was one of the best people I’ve ever worked with.
He was dependable, reliable, always had a smile on his face, quick witted and a very good writer. I can vouch for Sarah Ozbun’s description of Demetrius’ style of interviewing. He was a minimalist, only asking questions that needed to be asked and let the subject do the talking.
That art of interviewing is kind of a lost art to me. Many times when we think of interviews, we think of the “Barbara Walters Special” where the interviewer is as much a part of the spectacle as the subject of the interview. That person who asks the hard-hitting question and just watch the other person squirm.
That makes for great TV, but it doesn’t make for a good story. When you’re interviewing people as sources, all you want to do is to get them to open up and start talking. You may lead them to what you want by how you ask your questions, but in general, it’s not about causing a confrontation with people. You have to put people at ease, and Demetrius did that.
He could walk into a tense room, and his calm, easy-going demeanor could help put everyone back in a good mood.
On Saturday, we said goodbye to Demetrius at Bassfield Pentecostal Church. I want to thank the family for allowing me to speak on behalf of the newspaper at the funeral. It was a great honor to do be able to participate in the service, but it was an even greater honor to get to know Demetrius and share in the last three years of his life.
We are still in shock about everything that happened, and we continue to pray for you each and every day.
To Newton County, thank you so much for the Facebook posts, calls, texts, handshakes, hugs, etc., that you’ve given us over the last 12 days. You will never know how much we appreciated that.
I hope that we at the Newton County Appeal can honor Demetrius’ legacy as a writer and reporter.
Contact Brent at firstname.lastname@example.org.