It’s almost impossible to find an unadulterated form of maybe the most famous Mark Twain quote, but in essence it is as follows: “The rumors of my death have been exaggerated.”
That seems to be the case here for those of you in Pickens County who may have been inundated with claims, rumors, and tales of the impending demise of The Easley Progress, Powdersville Post and The Pickens Sentinel.
Allow me to assure you nothing could be further from the truth, and as a matter of fact, I will go even further.
What is happening may be one of the biggest revitalizations of a business in this community’s history.
There are several reasons this is true and I am more than glad to share them with you.
First, there are always growing pains when changes are made whether they are personnel, methods or technology.
Yes, the growing pains you have seen are uncomfortable and far below the standards of everyone associated with these publications. Those very same people are working to fix those issues and as with all growing pains, this too shall pass. I have never met a more dedicated group of people, all looking toward the same end.
Within the advertising department we have qualified professionals whose goal is to drive your business. With our model, their success is directly tied to the success of the business owners they represent, and represent well.
When they visit each of you in turn, it’s your business they’re concerned with, not ours. By taking care of you, they take care of us.
When it comes to the editorial department, well, it’s hard for me to be unbiased, obviously. So, I’ll put it to you this way and let you make up your own mind. You’re going to be hard pressed to find anyone in my line of work who is as unafraid to ask hard questions, work far too many hours, take the truth as seriously, or refuse to give up than myself.
Where five months ago my phone didn’t ring, now I can’t keep up, and there is no greater higher compliment than to have the community in which you write seek you out to chase a story down. Thank you.
There are some of you who do not like to see me coming, and I get that, but the fact is you may not want to have to talk to me, but you know I am going to report the truth and give you every opportunity to tell your side.
As a result, the editorial content is much stronger and is based on journalism, the actual investigation of fact and innuendo, not merely the reprinting of press releases as an unofficial publicity outlet.
My boss, the Content Director for Civitas Media’s papers in South Carolina — our three papers plus The Newberry Observer, The Herald Independent in Winnsboro and The Union Daily Times — is as dedicated and determined to see these three publications not only dominate our geographical area but to also give the larger media outlets a run for their money in your community.
She’s supportive, firmly believes in what we are doing here, and most importantly, gives me the freedom to do my job not just the way I want, but the way it should be done.
This is a highly competitive business, working in news media, whether it’s print, television or digital, and unless you’ve ever worked in this environment, you have no idea what goes on behind the scenes. It can be more vicious than you can imagine.
I feel certain it’s that competitiveness that has fueled the laughable rumors that are popping up and I would like to assure you all it is just not so.
The bottom line is this: you can either come along for the ride, work harder, write better, make more calls, don’t own a clock to avoid knowing the hours already in, be unafraid to offend, drive faster to get there first, be more determined, don’t take no for an answer, don’t believe anything you hear and only what you can prove.
Or, you can just get out of the way.
D. C. Moody is a staff writer for The Easley Progress, The Pickens Sentinel and Powdersville Post and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.