'Nine Questions' with Correspondent Junious Smith
In a series of interviews leading up to the official launch of Neuse News on June 27, we are introducing you to the people behind the scenes of the endeavor. Junious Smith is an ever-present member of the sports community. If there is a game, tournament or team signing he is there. Journalism is more than a career for him, it is a passion. When he is not writing he spends his time with family in Fayetteville.
Neuse News: How important is this community to you?
Junious Smith: This community is very important to me. Every town in the area has a great story and have been supportive since the first day. There are so many wonderful people with something to say and it’s a blessing to be trusted to deliver their descriptions.
NN: What does community journalism mean to you?
JS: Community journalism to me means actually reporting in an area and giving the people a voice. It means the most to give the community news affecting them specifically over stories they can find from the AP or USA Today.
Name: Junious Smith III
Birthplace: Fayetteville, N.C.
Education: Mass Communications at Fayetteville State University (Fayetteville, N.C.)
Family: Son of Junious Smith Jr. and Shirley Smith, older brother of John D. Smith
NN: What do you believe you can bring to Neuse News?
JS: I believe I can bring a strong presence in terms of both social media, face-to-face interaction and material. The community knows who I am, plus I’ve got the ability to relate to the prep players while garnering respect from players and coaches. The amount of care I try to show in each person will be on display at Neuse News as it was for The Flourish Post and any other avenue I’ve worked with.
NN: What led you to a career in journalism?
JS: I’ve always been interested in sports, especially basketball and football. I had dreams of playing in the NBA or NFL, but my height and build in high school killed those aspirations. Still, I loved to write, even putting together faux articles in class of NBA Live or Madden games I had played the previous night with quotes embedded. During my senior year, my journalism teacher, Mrs. Jennifer Czechowski, allowed me to put together a couple of stories for the high school paper and two years later I had the opportunity to be a correspondent with the local newspaper in Fayetteville.
NN: What has been your best experience in the industry?
JS: My best experience would be covering the 2016 NBA Draft in New York City with Zach Frailey. Besides sending questions to rising stars such as Brandon Ingram, Ben Simmons and Jamal Murray, the memories of simply being in New York were exciting. The special section created also helped me net my first ever NCPA award, which was a monumental accomplishment.
NN: What do you believe has been lacking when it comes to local news?
JS: I believe there hasn’t been more focus on keeping everything local or digging beyond a surface level. With so much going on in the community, there should be a better presence, which is what I believe Neuse News can provide.
NN: When you're not writing what do you enjoy doing?
JS: I enjoy writing, basketball, arcade games and just being with good company.
NN: What is your favorite thing to write about and why?
JS: Basketball is my favorite subject to write about because I have a lot of passion for the sport in general. It’s something I grew up with and don’t plan to relinquish any time soon.
NN: Where do you see yourself in five years?
JS: In five years, I see myself with a strong position in journalism and doing more mentoring in the community.