COLUMN: My goal for the readers of Shelby County Newspapers

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor 

In my time as sports editor at Shelby County Newspapers, Inc., I have gotten to see all corners of Shelby County while forming relationships with several coaches, athletes and parents.

Now, as I embark on a new opportunity as managing editor, I look to continue to do that in multiple facets across the county.

When I started my job here as a staff writer on my birthday during the summer of 2016, I was a giddy journalist who was so excited for an opportunity to break into the field that I said yes to starting on my birthday.

That was the best professional decision I have made in my young career, and may go on to be the best professional decision I have ever made.

As everyone does, I have goals in life. My wife will tell you that my dreams change every day. I love to cook and bake, I love to cover sports, I love playing sports (in particular golf), I love marine life and the beach, and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t pictured myself chasing after different dreams at times in my life.

But back in 2016, all of that changed when I was dating my future wife.

At the time, I was working part-time at a radio station in Nashville, Tennessee, looking to get into the sports broadcasting side of this industry. Shortly into that experience, I got an offer to move back to Birmingham and become a part of Shelby County Newspapers, Inc.

Still taking online summer classes at the University of Alabama, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity at a full-time job in the field, but most importantly, it would bring me back home and closer to the woman I knew I was going to marry.

The decision to move back home was easy at that point, and it led to my start as a staff writer covering Chelsea and Columbiana in Shelby County. Just four months in, I was promoted to sports reporter and a year later, in November 2017, I became sports editor.

Over the last three-and-a-half years at this company, I have formed great friendships with co-workers, great relationships with members of the community and have enjoyed every second of my job.

Even when there are complaints and even when I get limited sleep trying to cover all of the excitement in Shelby County sports, it has been incredible to try to find ways to improve myself and give the best coverage possible to the most wonderful area in the state of Alabama.

I get to work alongside the best designers, editorial staff, sales team and classifieds consultants in the business.

Now, as I take this next step in my journey with Shelby County Newspapers, Inc., I look forward to finding new and innovative ways to relay news to all residents of the county in a timely manner.

I’m nervous and excited, but I will pour everything into proving myself to this community and making sure we uphold excellence in reporting.

I have the best team of reporters and an incredible group of designers that will help us continue to provide an award-winning paper to you in the form of the Shelby County Reporter, 280 Reporter, Alabaster Reporter, Helena Reporter and Pelham Reporter.