Junious Smith III: Transitioning from an underdog to the favorite

Junious Smith III: Transitioning from an underdog to the favorite

As the late Nipsey Hussle always said, the marathon continues.

It’s amazing how far Neuse News has come in a nine-month span, transforming from an entity some dismissed as a legitimate source of information in Kinston and surrounding areas. It’s been a blessing helping in the process of providing the local reader with stories in their backyards instead of from some Associated Press wire service to fill up space.

As someone who used to put those stories together in Atlanta for a national circuit, it just doesn’t feel right for a local publication.

Now, the question is this: How can we improve?

To be honest, Neuse News doesn’t have the underdog vibe anymore. The mentality has never changed — we have to maintain a level of hustle and drive above anyone else — but this has no longer is a fad. There were serious tones from Day 1 about the organization, but it’s tough to change the perception of status quo. Although there has been a shift in the way we’re seen now, we’re still in full Macgyver mode — taking a few rubberbands, paper clips and pink Starburst to put everything together.

(To the readers, subscribers and sponsors, thank you for the tools, seriously.)

The biggest reason we’re trying to walk away from the “underdog” moniker is this — in reality, it’s very rare the canine wins. In college basketball, it’s cool to see the Valparaisos, Middle Tennessees and Mercers of the world topple a giant, but after the first round it’s over.

Whether I’m here to see the entire journey or not (and no, I’m not quitting), I don’t want to see Neuse News fail in its endeavor to catch that One Shining Moment. It’s been amazing seeing some of these ideas come into fruition, from the Chris Humphrey Allstate Post Game Show, the candidate forums, The Flourish Hill Podcast and many others.

Visiting Northeast Elementary Thursday, the students asked questions about what I did and how it was done. I kept my answers simple, said I was a writer and loved my job, but the potential of this becoming more is there.

There are traditionalist values of actually garnering news and sports from the area we live in for a daily publication, mixed with different ways of going about it. There may not be a physical copy to peruse, but as much as we’re on our phones there’s a way to get the information. We’ll continue to push out content and videos, doing the best we can for the consumer.

There are bigger goals than what has been conjured up so far — our shoes are getting tied for additional miles ahead.  

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