My wife, Shanna, and I like to say that we’re “newspaper survivors.” We both spent years, and in my case decades, working for newspapers.
In 2015, I left the newspaper business to start a magazine in Johnston County, the “Four Oaks Journal,” and a year later when we expanded that publication to cover the whole county and rebranded it as “Johnston Now,” my wife joined me in our family venture.
All I ever wanted to be was a sports writer for a newspaper. I earned my first byline in my hometown weekly paper as a senior in high school, and I was hooked. I was ready to spend my professional life working in the newspaper industry, telling other people’s stories.
Of course, much has changed since the early 90s when I hatched that grand plan. To put it kindly, the newspaper industry is in transition as it learns to adapt to a fast-paced digital world. The effect of this in some places is more obvious than it is in others.
That brings us to why you’re reading this. The Mount Olive Tribune served its community for 118 years until earlier this year when it ceased publication. This created what the industry is calling a “news desert,” or a place where there is no established, reliable or consistent source of information.
That’s where we come in. While I believe there’s no perfect substitute for the sort of boots-on-the-ground reporting you get from local newspapers, there’s is value in having a place people can go to stay informed about what’s happening in their community.
That’s why we decided to launch Mount Olive Now. We hope it becomes a place where people can share stories and pictures — the kind of things that used to populate the lifestyle pages of newspapers — and keep up to date on what’s happening in Mount Olive and around Wayne County.
If you want to know a little more about us and the kind of news we run (no crime, no politics, no controversy), pop on over to johnstonnow.com and take a look at our current issue.
In the meantime, if you have an idea on how we can make Mount Olive Now better, we’d love to hear about it. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.