As we enter the New Year, Carroll Magazine will have been publishing for three years.

One would imagine, after 18 issues, that we would have exhausted the subject, that is, Carroll County. Not so. In fact, the more we dig into the fertile soil of life here, the more we realize that the subjects are inexhaustible and the opportunities to serve the community are endless.

That is true, especially for journalists, of every community. Once one makes a connection, once he begins to observe people and become interested in their lives, the nuances reveal themselves, the stories pour forth in an unending flood.

Journalists are possessed of a strange dichotomy. We are observers and yet we are human, we cannot help but be involved. Perhaps that is why we see stories everywhere but are not paralyzed by immersion in them. We are immersed but detached. It is almost like the out-of-body experiences that people talk about after they have had a dream or undergone a trauma.

And yet it is rational and creative. We put our detachment to use in order make other human beings aware of their humanity. As with artists, it is our job to clarify and communicate. But unlike artists we usually try to leave emotion out of the picture.

Of course, it is sometimes impossible, if one is honest, to remain totally objective. Numbers are objective. Scientific investigations are objective. Journalism is neither accounting nor utterly pragmatic.

So we are involved in the life of Carroll County and we look at it with an appraising eye, intending always to perform a service; hoping to inform, assist in and enrich the lives of our readers.

We pledge, in the New Year and beyond, to continue trying to make a contribution to our community, and perhaps to pleasantly apprise its citizens of the opportunities that Carroll County affords.