When 5-year-old Noah Thomas disappeared in rural Pulaski County, Va., in 2015, a massive search ensued, accompanied by intensive news coverage. Four days later the body of the child was found in a septic tank with an unsecured lid, 10 feet away from the basketball hoop outside his home.
The boy's mother, Ashley White, said she was taking a nap and Noah was gone when she woke up. The home situation was less than ideal, and instead of community sympathy for her loss, White was the object of a backlash of condemnation fueled by gossip, rumor and social media.
"She didn't grow up with a silver spoon in her mouth," said Lee Wolverton, managing editor of The Roanoke Times. "She struggled like a lot of people in that area have. People are pretty quick to judge people like her."
By the time she was convicted of child abuse leading to an injury as well as two lesser charges of neglect, White had been in jail for more than a year. Released on time served, she appealed the main conviction. It was overturned by an appeals court and the Virginia Supreme Court allowed that ruling to stand.
This spring The Roanoke Times released a multi-part podcast, simply called "Septic," that told the story with a focus on the mother. Much of it is audio based in large part on courtroom recordings that were released to the newspaper. It also includes recorded interviews, photos, documents and some video.MORE
Two new leaders have arrived to usher The Daily Herald of Roanoke Rapids, N.C., forward.
Paxton Media Group has named Nancy Wykle, editor and publisher of The Daily Dispatch in Henderson, N.C., to the position of publisher of The Daily Herald. In addition, The Daily Dispatch Advertising Director Desiree Brooks was named to the same job at The Daily Herald. Both will retain their current positions in Henderson in addition to working at The Herald.MORE
Paxton Media Group has purchased The Daily Herald of Roanoke Rapids, N.C., from Wick Communications.
Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, N.M., represented Wick Communications in the transaction. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.MORE
Jamie Kinnaird, advertising director for The Roanoke Times, has been promoted to vice president of advertising for the newspaper.MORE
SNPA members elected officers for 2016-17 at the News Industry Summit in Sarasota, Fla.
Read this article to see who has been elected as additional SNPA officers and as members of the Board of Directors.
SNPA members will elect officers for 2016-17 on Thursday morning, Sept. 15, in Sarasota, Fla.
Read this article to see who has been nominated as additional SNPA officers and as members of the Board of Directors.
If you have not registered for the conference yet, please register right away. Costs increase $100 per person on Thursday. MORE
Reprinted from Second Street
The Roanoke Times is hoping to double its revenue from 2012 with an integrated holiday ballot and deals story promotion.MORE
Read about the latest job openings posted on the SNPA website. And, send us your listings to post at no cost.More
Five years after its inception, Main Street Media of Tennessee is a fast-growing media company operating in the suburbs of Nashville. Publishers of eight weekly newspapers, magazines and websites, the company's focus on hyper-local news unique to each community has allowed it to grow ad revenue as well as circulation.
In three weeks, at the SNPA News Industry Summit, hear how a "print-first" operation has been able to buck the trends and set itself on a path for continued growth.
Dave Gould, president and CEO of Main Street Media, says: "The idea that people no longer want to read newspapers is, in my opinion, completely misguided. But as an industry, we have to be honest and ask ourselves if we are offering our communities a product that will attract and retain readers. If we do that, can we then build a business model that will support our efforts to provide readers with strong newspapers? I believe the answer is 'yes' and that has been the basis of our company's growth to this point."More