This month marks 20 years that I have been working in the newspaper business.
So I thought it would be a good time to reflect on all the jobs I have had and all the places that I have lived.
I have had a lot of jobs over the years. Having a lot of jobs is good in some ways and bad in others. The good thing about having a lot of jobs is that you get to experience many different places and work environments. The bad thing about having a lot of jobs is that it can make it harder to get other jobs because employers will get the impression that you’re a “job hopper.”
My first job in the newspaper business was actually more than 20 years ago when I worked for the Reflector at Mississippi State University.
When I graduated from Mississippi State, I had a job right out of college working for the Magee Courier in south-central Mississippi. I was single then so I moved into an apartment by myself in Magee and got to know a lot of my neighbors. We would hang out in the parking lot on the weekends.
I was an eager reporter back then and would try to find stories everywhere I went. One time I even did a story on a psychic who lived in the town.
I eventually moved out of my apartment in Magee after I discovered that a large rat was inside the dwelling. I moved into a house after that.
I only lived in Magee about 11 months and ended up going to work for another weekly newspaper in Hattiesburg, which is a nice town with a lot going on. When I worked for the paper in Hattiesburg, I also covered the town of Petal.
After working in Hattiesburg for more than a year, I landed a job as a reporter for a daily newspaper in Florida near Daytona Beach. I got to cover several hurricanes and a lot of crime while in Florida. My apartment was just five minutes from the beach, so I could go relax in the Atlantic Ocean’s waves after work. The place where I lived was well-known for shark attacks.
I worked in Florida for a year and then moved to Sheridan, Wyoming, which is in the northern part of the state near the Montana border. I worked for a daily paper in Wyoming and got to cover a lot of political controversy that was going on in the town. The paper I worked for was very aggressive when it came to obtaining public records and would file lawsuits against government entities to get information. While in Wyoming, I met my wife at a newspaper convention, and we ended up moving to the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina where we both got jobs as reporters for the Smoky Mountain News.
Just about the time we moved to the Smoky Mountains, the recession of 2008 hit the country. After only eight months with the Smoky Mountain News, my wife and I moved to Columbia, Miss. where I accepted the job as the managing editor of a twice-weekly newspaper. I stayed with that paper about eight months and ended up starting my own online newspaper called the Marion County Informer, which was a huge success. I ran the online newspaper for about eight months and then accepted a job as a reporter for a daily newspaper in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
After a couple of years in Cheyenne, my wife and I moved to Missouri outside St. Louis where I worked as a reporter and she worked as tour guide at the Daniel Boone house.
Then we moved to Corinth where I was hired to run a new online newspaper. I did that for three years and then accepted the editor position with the New Albany Gazette.
And that is my story in the newspaper business so far.