Allow me to reintroduce myself, my name is…
For the first time in a while, it feels good to work with people again on the news side.
In case you don’t know who I am, my name is Junious Smith III. I was born and raised in Fayetteville, but moved to Kinston in 2013. I’m coming to Neuse News with nearly 11 years of experience, including eight years with the hometown newspaper on the sports side starting in 2007, a three-month stint with the Associated Press in Atlanta during the spring of 2015 and being published in dozens of other newspapers and magazines. For a majority of the past five years, I’ve served Lenoir County and surrounding areas by providing stories from government happenings, general assignments and sports.
Sadly, it wasn’t always under positive circumstances.
In the industry, change is bound to happen — warranted or not. Losing several very important coworkers I considered friends, including my former boss, Bryan Hanks, was a psychological blow I never fully recovered from. While the production didn’t waver too much on my end — being out in the community interacting with the masses was always a strong point — there was little continuity behind closed doors on my part. Eventually, it led to a downward spiral and I tried to pick it up independently with The Flourish Post in December 2017. It felt great to have the focus of a publication directed strictly on the area I lived in and learned to love, but not having team support was truly taxing at times.
Those ill feelings won’t be the case here.
At Neuse News, the opportunity to connect with a reputable group of individuals who understand my intentions, including Bryan Hanks, is truly satisfying. Creating The Flourish Post gave me the opportunity to provide hyper-local news across the area, but this new job will take it another level. My business acumen wasn’t as strong, so I powered the site off two sponsors (thanks again for everything King’s Restaurant and SERVPRO of Lenoir, Duplin and Jones Counties) and wonderful individuals who donated. In this case, having someone with the savvy of B.J. Murphy will allow me to focus my attention toward my strength of writing and do even more for the area. With a great team including Jon Dawson, William “Bud” Hardy, Michelle Taylor and Linda Whittington along with Hanks and Murphy, the possibilities are endless.
To everyone who has followed The Flourish Post, it means the world. Something considered to be nothing more than a personal blog racked more than 50,000 page views in six months strictly by social media, word of mouth and material. Please continue to do the same for Neuse News and I promise you won’t be let down with what everyone can bring to the table. If you’re looking for hard-hitting, hyper-local articles, look no further.
And if you see me at Cookout, don’t hesitate to say hello.