As the Killen trial closed last week, Judge Marcus Gordon made some interesting comments about the scores of news reporters, photographers and producers that had been hard at work in Philadelphia for weeks.

“Overall, I think you’ve earned the respect of all the local people,” Gordon said. “You’ve acted as professionals. We all have a better appreciation for what you do. Thank you for the way you’ve handled yourself in a difficult time.”

His remarks were a bit of a surprise, but he was right. Those legions of news folks had comported themselves with professionalism and character, by and large, during the weeks leading up to and during this significant, historic trial.

I have some insight into why things went so smoothly: The Philadelphia community provided these news people with a comfortable, technologically sound place to work. The city and county showed media from throughout the world that they were respected and deserved an opportunity to tell their stories in a climate of hospitality and professionalism.

In other words, these reporters had a good place to work, out of the withering heat, and they went home with a good taste in their mouths. A lot of people deserve thanks for this result through the Media Center, just a block off the courthouse square. They are many, but I hope you’ll afford me an opportunity to list as many as I can recall as the self-appointed “house mother” of the facility.

• Jim Prince, editor of The Neshoba Democrat, who served as a communications “bridge” between the court and me as the Media Center was developed.

• David Vowell, Community Development Partnership and its talented staff, who took on faith that the Media Center was needed and supported providing whatever assistance we requested.

• John McCullough and Rick Brohaugh with BellSouth for their high-tech Internet service and support.

• Philadelphia’s Police Department and the Neshoba County Sheriff’s Office, whose leaders worked closely with us on security plans and ways to make the community a friendly place in which media could work.

• Benjie Coats and Neshoba County Board of Supervisors, who supplied tables and chairs to furnish the Media Center.

• Marie Antoon, Darryl Moses, Paul Miller and their technicians with Mississippi Public Broadcasting for the outstanding work done to broadcast from the courthouse.

• Susan Glisson and her staff from Ole Miss’ William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation for their volunteerism and interaction to help media better understand the historic framework of the trial.

• Beverly Kraft with the Mississippi Supreme Court for keeping us in touch with breaking events surrounding the trial.

• Scott Hamilton and the Mississippi Development Authority, which funded the Media Center so that the community and state could put forth their best hospitality to hundreds of people who could be writing about us for many years.

• First Baptist Church of Philadelphia, which opened its fitness facility to the media and brought cases of bottled water and goodies to make our stay more pleasant.

• Dozens of Philadelphia cooks, who brought the most scrumptious cookies, cakes and pies to the Media Center and charmed the taste buds of everyone there.

Thanks to my bosses at the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo for allowing me to spend weeks planning and coordinating the Media Center.

Also huge thanks to the cheerful crew that volunteered their personal time to staff it – Pamela Cox-Tims and Kelly Daniels of Tupelo, Mary Margaret Miller of Greenwood and my son, Will Bardwell of Meridian.

To my surprise, reporter after reporter told me they’d never had a community provide them with such services — that they had never been received with such hospitality and genuine friendship.

Looks like Mississippi has made its mark in a positive way. That was our goal and I’m most appreciative for the help in doing so.

Patsy R. Brumfield is news editor of the Daily Journal in Tupelo.