Shelby Mathis answers call, joins community newsroom

Published 3:59 pm Sunday, July 30, 2023

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Greenville native, Shelby Taylor Mathis, joined the staff of Greenville Newspapers, Inc. on July 28 as its newest general assignment reporter. The reporter said she has always known that writing was her calling and is excited to begin her career bringing light to the stories and events that directly impact the tri-county community. 

“I have loved writing since I was a little girl,” Mathis said. “It has always been one of my favorite things to do. Teachers in school, college professors, family members, friends, and colleagues have all told me that I have a gift for words, and I want to put it to good use. The best way I can imagine using my gift is to share it with others.”

Her works have previously been published on online blogs such as Odyssey, but Mathis said she realized her talent could be put into practice in a better way. 

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“It’s important for members of our community to be informed about what’s going on around them, and my goal is to help make that happen,” she said.

Greenville Newspapers Regional Editor Lanell Downs Smith said Mathis’ passion for providing local coverage will enhance the news team’s ability to cover the people, places, and events important to citizens in Butler, Lowndes, and Crenshaw counties.

“We are thrilled to have Shelby join our team,” Smith said. “As a community newspaper, our goal is to share the stories our readers value most. Shelby’s skills, passion, and drive to create compelling and accurate stories make her an asset and expand our ability to cover the news which is important to our tri-county communities.”

Mathis emphasized the significance of local news. 

“What happens locally affects everyone in the community and we all deserve to be ‘in-the-loop’,” she explained “The story on the mainstream news channel you watched this morning may not trickle down to your best friend or your child’s football coach, but what happens in your hometown does. I aspire to be an agent of our communities, who works to provide information we care about, and that we need to know, because that is what we deserve.”

While Mathis has always had a writer’s spirit, she also has a passion for the automotive industry, and has spent most of her adult life working in collision repair facilities. 

“A huge part of my job in the collision repair industry was to research, and then communicate my findings either to a customer or to an insurance adjuster, and I loved that,” Mathis said. “Being able to provide others with important and relevant knowledge they didn’t previously have was my favorite part of collision repair, and one of the biggest reasons why I chose to divert my career path to journalism.”

Mathis said she is grateful for the opportunity to chase her dream as a journalist, and makes a promise to the Butler, Crenshaw, and Lowndes communities – “I won’t let you down,” she said.