Wanted: feedback from readers like you

I just moved to the area about three months ago, but I’m already feeling at home.

I attribute that to working for the Shelby County Reporter and Shelby Living. Working for a publishing company is an easy way to get to know a new area. Every day during the week, I talk to someone new or travel down a different road.

Any of my coworkers can tell you that I get lost often, like last week when I overshot Inverness Country Club on Highway 17 and ended up on a dirt road.

But those wrong turns have helped me out as much as my reporting.

I’ve explored more of the county in three months than I would have if I worked a regular desk job.

Most of the stories I’ve written during my short time here have resulted from the recommendation of coworkers or a Google search.

What I’ve found during my five-plus years as a journalist is that the best stories usually come from the community. In fact, a few of my favorite stories have started out after a conversation with a reader. I once spent a day searching for a drowned town at the bottom of Lake Martin with two adventurous, retired men.

Another time I interviewed a Filipino woman who had been a prisoner of war during World War II — that story evolved from a tip from another reader to one of my coworkers at my previous job.

The Shelby County Reporter seems to have a great relationship with the community and receives a lot of feedback and suggestions from the readers. I’m really hoping I can take advantage of that relationship as the new lifestyles editor.

As the lifestyles editor, I oversee the lifestyles and education pages of the Shelby County Reporter. I also oversee Shelby Living, a lifestyles magazine that recently moved to a monthly publication. I would love to hear from you, whether you have a compliment, complaint or suggestions. I’m sure we’ll be able to find a place for your submission or idea in one of our publications.

I can be reached at Katie.mcdowell@shelbycountyreporter.com, Katie.mcdowell@shelbyliving.com or 205-669-3131, ext. 19.

Katie McDowell is the Lifestyles editor for the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at 669-3131 ext. 19 or by email at katie.mcdowell@shelbycountyreporter.com.