The Moultrie News - A community paper catering to a special community

  • Tuesday, January 14, 2014

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The Moultrie News has reached a great moment in its history of serving the East Cooper area.

This year marks our 50th year.

This is a milestone our readers, our staff and the entire community will never forget.

The Moultrie News is special to so many, including myself.

It has been the lifeblood of our small little area of the Lowcountry, pumping information out as quickly as it can be obtained.

We’ve covered hundreds of elections, thousands of social events, many athletics victories and some losses too. Our reporters have cried with the community as we covered tragedies and deaths. We’ve rejoiced with our readers when babies have been born or newlyweds make their big announcements.

We’ve given parents countless copies of extra papers so they can share their child’s accomplishments with loved ones.

We’ve met with mayors and town officials. Sat through arduous town planning and budget meetings so you don’t have to.

Our sales team have helped thousands of small business owners grow and spend their advertising dollars wisely.

And the list goes on. For the last 50 years the employees of the Moultrie News have given readers what they want, how they want it and done so with grace, dignity and honor.

The position of editor is a special title to me. At the young age of 23, fresh out of college, Publisher Charlie Diggle and Editor Chuck Diggle gave me a chance as a part time reporter. A copy of that resume I handed them during that first interview still exists. The familiar scrawl of Charlie Diggle is off to the margins where he made notes about my family, my upbringing and my education.

I was born in Mount Pleasant and raised here. I grew up reading the Moultrie News. I was even mentioned in it a few times (not to include the Police Blotter).

I can remember screaming for joy when he called that day to offer me the job. I didn’t even negotiate the measly salary I was offered. I was simply honored to work among journalism professionals, in my hometown, for my hometown paper. Little did I know the Diggle’s would not only be my employers but would soon become my second family.

I knew I was walking in the footsteps of giants. Many seasoned reporters came before me. And while at the time I thought of the position as a job, looking back it was truly an educational experience for me. Sure I did the busy work of retyping press releases and trying my hand at covering municipal news. (This was long before email was common place). But where I made my mark was in connecting personally with my community.

I now have met and befriended thousands of people I would have never known otherwise.

I wore my reporter’s badge proudly. I was no longer the blonde headed Wando High School cheerleader. I was now a respected member of East Cooper. I am still awe struck that I was thought of as an adult back then.

And as the years progressed, I had the privilege of working under Editor Bill Walker, and Editor Ann Mitchell. The learning experience went beyond critiques in writing. It was a lesson in relationships, professional etiquette, and journalistic values and principals. It was about building trust with our readers and creating relationships.

It was about emphasizing that The Moultrie News belonged to the community.

For over ten years I have worked under publisher Vickey Boyd, a true mentor and friend. She named me editor several years ago. I am smart enough to know that it had more to do with my loyalty for our wonderful little paper than my qualifications. But she also trusted in me and believed in me to not only do the work of the paper, but to positively represent it as a whole.

And in that same vein, The Moultrie News has become a part of me and I a part of it.

I will fiercely defend our role in this community and work tirelessly to ensure we’re serving the purpose of pleasing our readers.

We’re a small staff at The Moultrie News. But as the industry has grown and changed, we’ve kept up, becoming a weekly print product and a daily online product with a heavy emphasis on social media. We are small but mighty. I hope you’ll join me in this yearlong celebration of our 50th anniversary.

The Moultrie News provides a vital service to the community. But without this wonderful community we would not have a service to provide.

There are three very fun events planned throughout the year as well as a look back at the paper’s history and sponsorship opportunities. Follow us online at www.moultrie50th.com where you can buy tickets to the Boone Hall concert event or get details on the free family island party or music and food truck rodeo at Awendaw Green.

To kick off our celebration come to Awendaw Green. Join us for a day of family fun featuring:

•Local school bands and choirs

•Face painting, games and contests for kids

•Fun into the evening with a great line up of local musicians

•Food provided by some of Charleston’s best food trucks

Boone Hall will play host to Plane Jane and The East Coast Party Band.

Don’t miss the 50th Anniversary concert at Boone Hall! With great music from East Cooper’s hometown favorites, delicious local food and the beauty of the Boone Hall Plantation, this is a can’t miss event celebrating the history, fun, and laid back atmosphere only found east of the Cooper River.

We’re excited to be celebrating our commitment to island life with a Community Day in partnership with the Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island at Stith Park. Look for community fund raisers, contests and activities for kids, and of course, great food!

Click on our Show Schedule tab for detailed information on event times, tickets, and specific location information.

We hope our business community will rally behind us and become a sponsor.

This milestone is not just for me or the paper, it is for all of the East Cooper community.

To celebrate with me, call Publisher Vickey Boyd at 958-7482. For event details, call me at 958-7482.

Thank you East Cooper for making us your number one source for all things local. I’ll see you at the party!

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