Bugs aren’t the only thing you will find in this week’s edition of The Daniel Island News.
Thanks to a grant from Google’s Journalism Emergency Relief Fund, we are happy to welcome Lee Wardlaw to the paper as a general assignment reporter. The fund’s aim is to support the production of original journalism for local communities worldwide in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we persevere through the financial impacts of the fallout from the coronavirus on the functioning of the paper, the addition of Lee to our writing team will translate to additional reporting for our community and support for our committed corps of writers. Additionally, it will allow us to expand our e-newsletter –The Current – and our online only offerings.
In this week’s paper, Lee covers the impact of the city’s mask ordinance on local businesses, a new local mobile food bank organized by local residents to support local communities, updates on the Thomas Island wastewater treatment project, and a centerfold feature about our prolific island neighbors – bugs.
We applied for the grant during the early weeks of the lockdown. Once we received word that we had been selected to receive the grant, we decided that the best use of the funds was to bring on an additional writer to provide more news to our community.
A native of the Columbia, South Carolina, area, Lee was one of several dozen applicants from an impressive pool of journalists from around the country. A recent graduate of the University of South Carolina’s School of Journalism, Lee already has an extensive reporting background, having been published in the Carolina News and Reporter and the Carolina Gamecock, with stops at S.C. Public Radio and Cola Daily.
Daniel Island News Editor Boots Gifford, who has extensive experience training and guiding journalists, is excited to mentor and work with Lee.
“Lee demonstrated a talent and passion for journalism that will allow him to grow into an excellent reporter,” she said. “He has a deep desire to tell a good story, and the work ethic to dig deep and do thorough reporting to get the story right.
“I led the Denver Business Journal internship program for nearly 10 years, and it’s exciting for me to share in the youthful enthusiasm of emerging journalists. It helps remind me why we love what we do.”
Lee spent his first few days at the paper familiarizing himself with the Daniel Island and Cainhoy communities.
“I took a self-guided tour, strolling the streets of downtown, admiring Volvo Car Stadium where the great Serena Williams and other tennis stars played, while also walking to see the beautiful shops, apartments, and stores in downtown,” he said.
It didn’t take long for Lee to jump in and start reporting. He notes that he’s already had some great conversations with local business people, including with Daniel Island Grille owner Thomas Dowling, Ristorante LIDI manager Travis James and Charleston Water System Public Information Administrator Michael Saia.
Lee says he is looking forward to creating high-quality journalism and telling the stories of the community and its people. He will be covering everything from government meetings to business news to schools to people to elections and to, yes, even bugs.
“If anyone has comments, questions, tips, or would like to help introduce me to the community, I’d love to sit down for a coffee or chat over the phone to provide more transparency,” Lee said.
FOOTBALL PICK ‘EM RETURNS
It’s only July but it’s never too early to ask, “Are you ready for some football?”
We are set to bring back our annual Pig Skin Pick ‘Em challenge starting with the first week of the NFL season. We recognize that the pandemic is severely impacting high school and college football, as well as creating some uncertainty in the NFL. We, however, are moving forward with the contest and will adjust it to the competitive football schedules that emerge.
Each week, beginning with the start of the NFL season and continuing to the Super Bowl, readers will be given an opportunity to “Beat the Sponsor” and to win great prizes. Only eight sponsors can compete weekly in this popular 21-week contest.
Here’s how it works. The paper emails a link to the survey on Tuesday each week via e-blast and also puts the URL link on Facebook as well as in the paper. To be eligible to win, you must select your entries online by noon on Friday. There is no cost to enter. Please send your email address to Katherine@thedanielislandnews.com
to be added to the e-blast.