My emotions have really been stirring inside since I learned about the eminent death of The McDuffie Mirror.
Even though it didn’t come as a major shock to me since I’ve known for the past couple of years that the newspaper industry is in trouble throughout our country, it still bothered me to think that this is the first publication I’ve ever worked for that is going to actually cease publication.
It deeply saddens me when I think that many news stories and human interest features will no longer be told as well as they were in The Mirror. As tough as this may be for me, it’s much tougher for the people who still work there – like my longtime friend, Janet Wells.
I worked there as a reporter covering news and sports for a little more than four years. During that time, I turned a lot of news stories for both The Mirror and its sister newspaper, The Augusta Chronicle.
It was great at the time, because my aim as a reporter was to help build The Mirror into as respectable and credible newspaper as could be found anywhere. Telling the news from throughout that particular part of East Central Georgia was always important to me because it helped to inform thousands of readers about the world around them.
I have a lot of fond memories there. One of them included being accepted right away by the staff, which included Jason B. Smith as publisher; Janet Wells, as office manager; Lynn Davidson as a staff writer; Angela Blair, advertising manager; and Cindi Bales Luke, as an advertising representative. Later, Kathy Bennett and Cheryl Williams joined the advertising sales team and added much professionalism.
Everybody was so professional and got along so well. We all bought into the newspaper’s commitment and dedication to the people of McDuffie County. As employees, we all claimed a little personal ownership of The McDuffie Mirror. I always thought that was special.
It wasn’t long after I arrived on the scene that officials with the Thomson-McDuffie County Chamber of Commerce named The McDuffie Mirror small business of the year. What an honor that was for all of us on the staff at the time.
Despite the recognition, none of us ever stopped there. If anything, it made all of us even more determined to continue to do an even better job – week after week – all 52 weeks out of the year.
I’ll always remember the many sleepless nights Lynn and I spent at the office writing stories. Some of those times were most difficult, because we both needed rest. But our commitment to the readers was everything to us both.
After this week when Lynn and I come to Thomson, I’m certain we’ll both look over in the direction of where The Mirror office used to be and think about some of the fond memories. We might even shed a few tears.