Long before this medium unveiled all the major scoops related to the real “Murdaugh Murders” criminal saga, it was already experiencing robust growth. Last year was a banner year for FITSNews – with record traffic and growth in subscribers. And so far 2021 has been even better.
I believe that all this growth places an additional responsibility on me and on the site… to do better and be better.
“Over the past few years, FITSNews has grown from a part-time political blog to a full-fledged media outlet,” I noted last spring. “Regular readers will no doubt notice that our articles have grown longer. More diverse. More detailed. Better cited. More thoughtful. More contextual.
Oh, and the addition of the CIO Mandy matney? She clearly took our operation to another level …
As the founding editor of this medium, my job is to manage all of this growth and ensure it benefits subscribers, readers, and the citizens and taxpayers of Palmetto State. And yes I hope you took note of what that sentence did not to say.
FITSNews made not exist to fill my bank account. Or to stuff my ego (as much as I wish it was his praxis). It exists to tell stories … especially stories that other media can’t or won’t tell.
Over the past few months, many people have asked me if the growth of FITSNews over the past few years has made me rich. Much to the chagrin of my beautiful wife (and our seven children), the answer to this question is “no”. He does not have.
Why not? Because whatever FITSNews does, I reconnect it directly to the company … An “all-in” bet based on the belief that an extensive information gathering operation is the best and highest use of the money the website makes. Every day, I strive to hold individuals and institutions in and around Palmetto State accountable for their core functions – so it makes sense that I hold myself accountable for my own core function, not isn’t it?
I think so …
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For me, it’s all about results … and like these Panic! At the disco children, I have “big, big hopes”.
Hiring Mandy in January 2020 was obviously a huge deal for FITSNews. Until then, it was literally a one-person store. But hiring a CIO was a decision that I felt was necessary… and one that I thought would pay off if I found the right person.
Do i already have … and does he already have it.
But… I kind of knew that from the start. As I noted when announcing Mandy’s hiring last January, her relentless pursuit of justice in the 2019 boat accident case involving the powerful Murdaugh family was one of the reasons I was there. ‘ve hired.
“What impressed me about Mandy beyond her journalistic skills is her courage in aggressively seeking the truth in the boat accident case – which involves an incredibly important and hugely influential family in the Palmetto. Lowcountry, ”I noted at the time. “Anyone can be a good journalist, but be a good journalist AND a courageous journalist takes it to another level.
Mandy is those two things. Ten times. And to say that she exceeded any expectations I could have had for her on both fronts when she arrived on board is to sell her work far too short. In fact, I joke with her that my new claim to fame in South Carolina is that I’m “the guy who hired Mandy Matney”.
Over the next few weeks, this medium will announce Three new additions to our growing staff. We will also be announcing exciting improvements to our user experience. Again, this is all focused on maximizing the value we deliver to our subscribers and readers – improving both the quantity and quality of the work we do so that we can continue to grow and even deploy. Following field resources.
Because believe me when I say I want to announce another “all in” bet around the same time next year.
I am incredibly excited to make these three announcements in the days to come. Each of the people we announce brings unique (and diverse) talents, experiences and perspectives to our operation – skills that I believe will further strengthen our rise.
So stay tuned… great things are coming… and once again, thank you to all of our subscribers, readers, advertisers and supporters for making this growth possible.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will folks is the founding editor of the newspaper you are reading now. Prior to founding FITSNews, he was press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, besides having a lot of kids, he has a LOT of hats (including that classic University of South Carolina “Block C” cover pictured above).
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