A journalist’s job is to tell the truth.
So let me try to tell the truth about business reporting in the Upstate.
It has been almost 18 years since I moved to Greenville to begin my fourth newspaper job and my first covering business full-time. Over the years, I have watched the scope and variety of commercial activity in this dynamic region of South Carolina grow… and grow… and grow again.
There is simply much more business news in the Upstate today than there was when I arrived here in 1999. And I’m convinced Upstate consumers are as hungry as ever to get that news.
Unfortunately, some media outlets that Upstate consumers have traditionally relied on to provide that news have not been investing enough in business content, even as the market has grown.
Part of the reason is that those media outlets are still struggling to find their footing in a media landscape that has been redefined by the internet. And part of the reason is that they have chosen to do something else with the money they’ve harvested from the community.
But the market always seems to find a way, doesn’t it?
And so it was that four years ago, a scrappy new entrant arrived on the scene, the Upstate Business Journal.
UBJ is locally owned and investing back into the business.
Publisher Ryan Johnston has a management degree from Clemson University and formerly worked as a commercial real estate broker. He’s very active in the Greenville Chamber and helped bring the Founder Institute, a training program for would-be entrepreneurs, to Greenville. He’s also president of the business association in the Village of West Greenville. There aren’t many people as plugged in to the local business community as Ryan.
UBJ has been building its reporting staff, hiring veterans, and sending them out into the business community for that indispensable face-to-face networking.
First, Trevor Anderson, who’s covered business in Spartanburg for more than a decade and basically owns the beat, came on board. Then UBJ hired David Dykes, my former boss and a 20-year Greenville resident who has worked as a business editor at more than one newspaper.
And now, I am proud to say, UBJ has hired me.
Good reporting is still based on relationships, and UBJ’s staff has been developing relationships for a long time.
If you’ll allow me to say so, there is no finer business reporting staff in the Upstate. Bar none.
In the journalism business, investing in content pays dividends.
So it’s not surprising that UBJ is breaking all kinds of news these days. And its coverage is only going to get better.