Editorial: After the CBS Sunday Morning show…

The days since July 2 have been a whirlwind of fun-filled attention enjoyed by The Voice’s staff after the newspaper was featured on a segment of CBS Sunday Morning. Venerable journalist Ted Koppel interviewed – on national television – The Voice, The Chester News and Reporter and talked about their partnership with The Charleston Post and Courier and how these newspapers are evolving new paradigms in order to survive.

The response to the program was immediate and supportive, both locally and from as far away as Florida, New York and the West Coast. We received phone calls, emails, some financial donations, and an uptick in subscriptions.

We are thrilled and grateful for the opportunity we had to be part of the program – from the two days Ted Koppel, a CBS producer and two camera crews spent in Blythewood interviewing us and filming the town to the very nervous few minutes just before the show aired.

While all this has been both fun and beneficial for The Voice, more importantly it has affirmed what we do and why we do it – to publish news that matters to our community.

Our work is shepherded by a small but staggeringly capable staff and a handful of freelance reporters.

Let me tell you first about the two people who make up our core staff – Editor Callie Ladd Sims and Designer Ashley Ball Ghere. Together, they are a journalistic powerhouse.

As editor, Callie oversees almost every aspect of the paper, including social media, sports, events, page layout, legals and classifieds. And when the paper is finished, she serves as half the paper’s proofreading team before she uploads it to the printer. She’s my ear to the ground in Blythewood and Fairfield County and an excellent writer, photo editor and copy editor.

Ashley’s main job is designing ads. Her work has been recognized as ‘Best of Show’ seven times in the S.C. Press Association’s state-wide Palmy Awards for advertising design. Also an excellent writer, Ashley has received top awards for her feature stories. And she is the other half of the newspapers’ proofreading duo.

The two also team up several times a year to publish The Voice’s award winning special issues like the recent High School graduation magazines and the 2022 Dixie Youth Baseball World Series Championship special.

In addition to being overworked and underpaid, the two are also multi-talented, fun, smart, dedicated, dependable, and unflinching in the face of deadline, duty and disaster. While they work very much behind the scenes, they are largely responsible for the newspaper’s success – a publisher’s dream team.

The Voice is also fortunate to have seasoned freelance reporters and photographers.

Michael Smith is an award winning journalist and former editor of two S.C. daily papers. Debra McCown, a former Blythewoodian, has also written for USA Today and other national publications. Worthy Evans, a popular, award winning freelancer, also reports sports for The State and other Midlands newspapers.

The Voice depends on excellent local freelancers – Joe Seibles covers sports and community events; Linda Franklin-Moore reports on Winnsboro Town Council and writes features; Martha Ladd writes sports, features and shoots sports and event photos; Darlene Embleton reports primarily on the Ridgeway community; and The Voice’s student reporter Katie Maldunado will be attending the University of South Carolina this fall to study journalism.

And that is us.

While the CBS Sunday Morning segment is over, the creeping demise of many of the country’s newspapers is not. By some reports, the trend is picking up steam. We, like other small, independent newspapers that are not owned and financially protected by large media companies, are particularly at risk. Like many other newspapers around the country, we are constantly trying to figure out ways to survive.

We are thankful to everyone in this community who supports The Voice with news tips, advertising, subscriptions, occasional financial donations, and for letting us know how much you enjoyed the CBS Sunday Morning segment featuring The Voice. We’ve loved it all.

More than anything, however, we are thankful for this community’s everyday support of The Voice for the most important thing we do – publishing local news that matters.

Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]