Photo Courtesy St. Mary's County Chamber of Commerce
By David Noss
HOLLYWOOD, Md. - Many years have passed since St. Marys County saw a new newspaper emerge locally, but tomorrow that wait will come to an end as The County Times hits the stands for the first time ever.
The County Times will report the news as it happens while focusing strongly on the local community. There are 96,000 people living in St. Marys County, and that means there are a lot of stories to tell.
According to Bryan Jaffe, the newspapers Managing Editor, there will be the traditional focus on county government, the local school board, and the various agencies that make up the government. There will also be more focused stories on the issues faced by the everyday citizen in the county.
We hope to really get the pulse of the community, the entire community, Jaffe said. People can read the [Washington] Post or the [Baltimore] Sun for national and statewide happenings, but for county news, the choices are limited. The Enterprise is a fine publication, but the nearly 100,000 residents of the county deserve another voice.
The County Times is spearheaded by James Manning McKay, founder of the McKays grocery store chain. Ive wanted to start a newspaper from as far back as the 60s, said McKay. But, I had a big family to feed and educate and the store to run. Now I find myself in the position where I have the time to do it.
McKay believes that newspapers are an integral part of the community. When you go into any business, you need the understanding and support of the people in order to be successful, he said. Based on the reception I have received when talking to members of the community, I believe that people are very receptive to a new publication.
McKay is looking forward to the first issue coming out tomorrow. I believe people want it and need it, he said.
To help with the mission of covering St. Marys County, the County Times will work closely with Southern Maryland Online. There will be sharing of information and stories, and breaking news from the County Times will often appear on SoMd.com.
We are excited about this partnership, Jaffe said. There is nothing like the tradition of the printed page working hand in hand with the technology of today to give readers and residents the fullest access to local happenings anywhere.
Dee Jay Gude, President of the company that publishes Southern Maryland Online, believes that the partnership will be a classic example of synergy. SoMd.com is an on-line community and The County Times is a print publication that covers the hard news, said Gude. Since the Times is a weekly, SoMd.com will allow them to publish breaking news within minutes of it happening. We will share our feature stories with them to contribute to their human interest offerings.
In order to provide the best coverage of the community possible, the County Times wants to hear from the residents of St. Marys County. Is there an event in your neighborhood that should be in the news? Is there an organization you are part of that is working to make the community a better place?
If so, you can contact the County Times at 301-373-4125. A full list of Email addresses will be published tomorrow in the first edition and in subsequent editions. Papers are expected to be on local newsstands by
3:00 p.m. Future editions will be available in the early morning.