Leaving The McDuffie Progress after a very enjoyable 10 years – McDuffie Progress

Posted: December 22, 2021 at 12:33 am

My career in journalism has, so far, spanned 34 years. In those many years, I have not changed jobs frequently, yet every job change has proven to be the right one. Today, Thursday, is my last day as publisher and editor of The McDuffie Progress.

I could have remained in this role and worked on another 10 or 15 years until retirement, but I feel the right door opened for the right reason and at the right time. I will be joining the staff of a business publishing company as a senior editor for a nationwide publication that focuses on public safety agencies and topics. All who know me, whether here in McDuffie County or even from years ago in other communities, understand how much I enjoy working closely with public safety police, sheriff, fire, EMS, and EMA.

There are few opportunities that would draw me away from my post here at the Progress, and this is one of those few. In my new role, I will work remotely from home. My wife Robyn works for a state agency and has been a remote worker for a good many years. Now, we both will be remote workers.

Again, my job changes always work out for the best and are the right opportunities, at the right time, for the right reasons. Although we plan to continue to call Dearing home, in the coming years we likely will relocate to south Georgia eventually to be closer to Robyns parents as they age. Every girl wants to spend time with her mama, and such is the case with my bride. With my transitioning to the remote workforce we will be more free to relocate. It means when that time comes, I will not have to job hunt for a journalism or sales job in a sparsley-populated part of the state.

But, working for home will be a challenge a huge adjustment for me. For most of my 10 years, each day I have followed a different path. I love it when I am on the go and seeing different people all day every day. Of course I had to get stories done, cover events, and sell some advertising but what I enjoyed was the people. Few people truly have a grasp of what it is like to work in community journalism.

Often I explain that the ones of us who do so are actually like the hub in a wagon wheel and the spokes represent the people we know in all varied aspects of a community. Our job is one that lets us get to know teachers, preachers, police officers, state troopers, mayors, coaches, retirees, merchants, and more. I am an Athens native, but I gladly call McDuffie County home. Years ago when I worked at a daily newspaper in Carrollton I told someone that home is where you run into the most people you know when you go grocery shopping on the weekend. Its not likely I will know anyone nowadays if ever shopping in my hometown of Athens.

But, shopping or going out to dinner in Thomson means I run in to tons of people I know. That is what makes an area feel like home. Even now I still stand by my proclamation from throughout my career The publications name is always bigger and more important by any employee along the way or any job title. The McDuffie Progress has been in publication since 1998. When put in that perspective, my 10 years here seems very insignificant. People also dont realize community journalism is basically community service.

We take the time to cover meetings, ballgames, shootings, court, and more and then condense all the information so anyone in the community can be informed. We take what we do and the service we provide very seriously. Basically I have followed in the footsteps of all who came through the McDuffie Progress from 1898 to 2011, when I arrived in December. Now someone else will follow in my footsteps and also grow to love the community.

Wayne Parham is the publisher/editor of The McDuffie Progress.

Originally posted here:

Leaving The McDuffie Progress after a very enjoyable 10 years - McDuffie Progress

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