Smart News about New Bern for grownups
Where are you?
New Bern, North Carolina … second oldest city in the state (founded in 1710), last colonial capital, first state capital, birthplaces of Pepsi Cola and the first newspaper in North Carolina.
Who are you?
I am Randy Foster, a journalist with more than 30 years experience in print, online and social media news, and most recently eight years as the editor of the Sun Journal of New Bern and, for a brief time, also The Free Press of Kinston. My responsibilities back then also included the Havelock News, Cherry Point Post, Jones Post, newbernsj.com, kinston.com, havenews.com, My New Bern Magazine, My Lenoir Magazine, and coordinating five community monthly newspapers covering River Bend, Trent Woods, Fairfield Harbour, Taberna and Greenbrier. Since October 2017, I have been a freelance journalist and blogger, running New Bern Post in my spare time to supplement news coverage in New Bern when necessary.
What is newbernpost.com?
I started this website as a news service covering New Bern and things related to New Bern. The initial focus was city and county government; other things have been added as I have time.
I have strange hobbies. And newbernpost.com is a hobby. When I decided to leave the newspaper business in 2017, I soon found a day job and other things to pay the bills, but I wasn’t ready to throw away three decades of journalism experience, nor turn my back on New Bern after eight years of covering it for the Sun Journal.
As editor at the Sun Journal (first managing editor, then editor, then executive editor), I unwillingly presided over a steady erosion of the newsroom due to cutbacks and layoffs and de-emphasis on covering hard news in New Bern. That’s the main reason I left there.
Now I am using my spare time to fill coverage gaps that the Sun Journal can’t because its hard-working, dedicated, poorly rewarded newsroom can’t any more. New Bern deserves better, and I help fill that gap.
What do you have against the Sun Journal?
I have nothing against the Sun Journal. I love the Sun Journal. I love the people who work there. If you value having a daily newspaper in New Bern, no matter what your politics, whether you like the direction it’s taking, whether it pissed you off that time because of that photo or cartoon or letter or editorial, no matter what, you need to support it, and the best way to support it is to subscribe to it and to advertise in it.
So where do you go from here?
I’ve got more than 20 years experience as a newspaper editor, but I have a decade of experience as a reporter/photographer, which is what I loved about journalism and got me into the business in the first place. I moved into editing (aka management) to see if I liked it, but stayed to pay for a growing family. Now I can get back to my journalistic roots: reporting. I dusted off those skills by covering New Bern like it used to be covered … by a reporter dedicated to covering it.
This site, newbernpost.com, is hyperlocal and focused for a niche audience: people who care about their city enough to slog through stories about what their elected representatives in city hall are deciding, and how city employees are carrying it out. When I branch out to other areas, it is only when relevant to what I care about the most: New Bern.
What’s your angle?
I welcome donations, sponsorships and partnerships with those who are like-minded, but I don’t rely on them. As I said, this is my hobby.
What’s the format?
There are four types of content on this site: news stories that I write and personally covered, community-submitted news releases, commentary (aka opinion) that I write or that knowledgeable people submit, and reader feedback in the form of commenting.
News? You mean “fake news”?
First off, if that’s your question, perhaps you should find your news elsewhere. It’s not “fake news” just because you disagree with facts and opinion based on facts.