Now let’s do this thing — together.
A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself— Arthur Miller
I hope you like that quote as much as I do. In this case, we could say “website” rather than “newspaper” (for now; More on that coming up) and change “nation” to “community.” Actually communities.
This new source of local news is dedicated to the Fort Mill and Tega Cay communities. And while the two have much in common, particularly rapid and sustained growth and being located in the best school district in South Carolina — also among the best in the nation — they are two distinct communities. They take pride in the things that make their town and their city special and we all celebrate that.
So, what am I doing here? Let me back up a moment and explain to those of you who don’t know me or my back story: After nearly 15 years as editor of the Fort Mill Times, I was laid off late last summer. It took a minute, but I decided there’s no reason I can’t remain active as a local journalist and provider of local news, features, events and whatever else folks look for in their local news sources. And here we are.
Welcome to this journey. This long, strange trip, if you will. I’m planning to blog about the experience of starting up a new local news source for Fort Mill and Tega Cay and I hope you check in and add your thoughts. Don’t be shy and, please, do offer your constructive criticism because I’m going to need your input to make this work.
Full disclosure: I’m figuring out how to publish on this site as I go along. I’m still setting up all the social media. I’m still trying to make the calendar widget function. There are sure to be tweaks, changes in visual layout and glitches along the way, so please bear with me. I’ll be adding features and as much fun stuff as I possibly can. Hopefully we’ll have a regular stream of sports news, features on new businesses — particularly places to eat and drink and have a good time — and a wide variety of other local content you can use or just simply enjoy.
I hope to get local students interested in journalism and writing involved, and want you all to know that your submissions are most welcome. I’m counting on you sending your happy news (with photos!), your club and faith news, reunions and all those things that are important to you.
To start, it’s pretty much just me and some of the awesome freelance reporters and photographers I’ve worked with over the years. Hopefully, I’ll have enough advertising partners to be able to hire staff reporters and photographers before too long. When that goal is achieved, we can start planning a print edition, if local residents and businesses seem likely to want and support it.
In the meantime, we’re winging it, and until advertising revenue makes this venture at all profitable, monetary support is always appreciated. There’s a button on the main menu for that, but you can just go to PayPal and search for email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In some ways, I wish I started this adventure a few months earlier. Another way to look at it though, is this is a new year with new possibilities and perhaps it’s fitting to launch this now, at the dawn of 2019.
Thank you for checking in here, taking the time to read this and for considering becoming a partner in this community-oriented journey. I look forward to seeing you at various events and gatherings and getting to know each other better. Oh, speaking of! I’m a guest judge at the Foundation for Fort Mill Schools chili cook-off fundraiser Jan. 26 at Nation Ford High School.
Pretty sweet gig, right? See you there!
UPDATE: Just learned the chili cook-off overbooked on judges! so, I’ll be there judging chili in an unofficial capacity 🙂