Home can mean many things and become many places in a person’s life. But there is no doubt when a person feels at home they hold that place in high regard and with a sense of pride.
I have been lucky enough during my career as a journalist to remain close to what is my first home. And now I have an opportunity to show my dedication and professionalism in service of it.
I began my time as editor of The Polk County Standard Journal on Wednesday, jumping into a sea of unknown and distinct familiarity. As a native of Polk County and having grown up in Rockmart, it’s a chance to help tell the story of a place I have seen transform and evolve while still holding on to the traditions and ideals that make small towns great.
Over the last 17 years I have worked in journalism as a writer of both sports and news, a photographer, and a sports editor, most recently working as the sports editor of the Rome News-Tribune since 2015.
I began assisting with coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic on a local scale for the Rome News-Tribune in mid-March and covered city and county government issues since that point as well.
Most of my time in newspapers has been in the sports arena, having started out in 2003 as the sports editor of The Rockmart Journal and later joining the RN-T sports department. In 2012 I took a position as a news reporter for the RN-T and covered crime and government.
My hope is that The Polk County Standard Journal is able to provide an outlet for people to be informed about their local governments, read about the stories that affect them and learn about the people, places and things in their communities.
The newspaper industry is in a different place than it was when I began working in it, and in just the last four months has shifted with the changes brought on by the new coronavirus just as many businesses have had to do.
Our office remains closed to the public, but myself and our advertising and subscription personnel remain available by email or phone. And as life slowly begins to show signs of recovery, we will make sure to keep our readers up to date.
As with any transition there are challenges and obstacles that will have to be overcome. I want to extend an invitation to anyone to email me at JStewart@polkstandardjournal.com or call 770-748-1520 and let me know what we could look into for the paper.
Communication is the foundation of any media outlet, and hearing from our readers and community leaders is integral to our mission.
For several years, I grew to know Rome and Floyd County and called it my home once. But now I have an obligation to the people of Polk County and I ask for patience and assistance as I begin this new endeavor.
This is my home. It’s your home. Let’s work together to make sure we tell its story as accurately as possible.