Thursday, October 11, 2012
Back when I was a kid growing up in Georgetown County, my first job was selling bags of peanuts. One of my brothers and I helped our mom as we boiled green peanuts, let them cool and then made sure we put at least 20 peanuts per bag. We sold them for 10 cents a bag.
About a year later, when I was 9 1/2 years old, I started selling Grit newspapers. I developed a route of about 30 customers and saved my four cents per paper profit until I could put down a $10 deposit on a bicycle at Rose’s 5 and 10 cents store. At $49, it took a while to earn the rest to pay off the balance, but I did it.
At the former Winyah High School, I was on the Student Prints newspaper staff, the Winyah Journal literary magazine and was staff member, photographer and later editor of the Gator yearbook.
During my senior year of high school I worked at what was WGOO Radio in Georgetown, and in college at the University of South Carolina majored in broadcast journalism.
After 30 years of work in journalism, printing and publishing, my wife and I moved back to the Georgetown area.
In 2000, I was fortunate enough to come to work for my hometown newspaper, the Georgetown Times.
The rest of our news staff and co-workers at the paper all have years of experience here and around the country.
Our paper traces its lineage back to 1798, and is the oldest continuously-published newspaper in South Carolina.
We serve up hot news items, what’s happening at council and school board meetings, in schools and on ball fields.
Our readers turn to the pages of the Georgetown Times and our sister papers, the Waccamaw Times, Inlet Outlook and the weekly shopper The County Chronicle.
Statistics just this past week show the Georgetown Times leads all of the Evening Post Publishing Company’s community newspapers in Web site visits. In fact, for the month of September your local paper had 378,187 page views and 53,280 “unique visitors”. The page view figure is about equal to the total of eight other community newspapers in North and South Carolina
The Georgetown Times Facebook page is approaching 9,000 “likes” and continues to be a leader in Evening Post Publishing Co.
Yep, this is something like tooting our own horns, but it’s important as well to help celebrate National Newspaper Week.
Over the years the Georgetown Times, like many community newspapers, has helped keep its readers informed. We’ve told about French privateers in 1798, the War of 1812, politics, farming, industry, government, education and so much more.
We keep in tune with the times. When something looks “fishy” we check it out. If things are OK, we report that. If there’s something rotten that causes that bad odor, it’s in the newspaper.
Many of us have our cell phones, our computers and laptops and tablets. As mentioned above, those modern tools are great for keeping the people of Georgetown, Andrews, Pawleys Island, Litchfield, Murrells Inlet and Garden City Beach and the whole county informed.
But all of that is dependent on our community newspapers.
In print, our three papers reach about 20,000 homes and businesses every week. With the 50,000-plus reach on the Internet and 9,000 Facebook audience, the Georgetown Times and its family of local media reaches many thousands of people weekly and monthly.
We appreciate your support and your readership, and welcome your celebration of National Newspaper Week.
Tommy Howard is editor of the Georgetown Times.