Jason B. Smith
THOMSON - A Thomson native has been lured home by McDuffie County's newest newspaper.
Jason B. Smith has been named as the first editor of The McDuffie Mirror.
"He doesn't just know Thomson, he loves Thomson," said Joyce Beverly, who will manage the new newspaper and is the publisher of The News & Farmer in Louisville, Ga.
Smith currently serves as Columbia County bureau chief for The Augusta Chronicle and news editor of The Columbia County News-Times.
'We'll miss Jason's steady hand and long Columbia County experience as news editor and government reporter for The News-Times," said Barry Paschal, publisher of The News-Times. "We know that experience will provide a real jump start for The Mirror."
Smith said he's ready for The Mirror's first edition to come out July 3.
"It's always been a dream of mine to do a newspaper in Thomson," Smith said. "Growing up in the town and working in newspapers, you always want to go home and do something.
"That's the opportunity I've got - to give my hometown a quality publication with not only my fingerprints on it, but the community's."
Smith said he's especially looking forward to the paper's editorial pages, which will focus on and give perspective to issues specific to McDuffie County.
"I'm excited about the vision and editorial leadership that Jason brings to this paper," Beverly said. "Not only does he know the newspaper business, but as a Thomson native, he has 25 years of personal knowledge of the community to back that up."
Smith said local writers will make sure The Mirror is a reflection of the community. Elwood Hamilton, who currently covers McDuffie County for The Augusta Chronicle and The Columbia County News-Times, will part of The Mirror. Kristopher Wells, who lives in Dearing, is a graduate of Thomson High School and Augusta State University.
The McDuffie Mirror is owned by Morris Communications Co., the parent company of The Chronicle and The News-Times.
The newspaper will be published Thursdays and will be available at businesses and newspaper racks throughout McDuffie County. It will cost 50 cents.
For a short time, The Mirrorwill be distributed as a free insert of The Chronicle for McDuffie County subscribers. Annual subscriptions are $25 can be purchased at The Mirror's offices at 128 Jackson St. in Thomson. The newspaper's phone number is 706-597-0335.
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