McClatchy chooses Georgia editor

Jeremy Chisenhall says he became a journalist because he loves to write and wants to tell stories that matter to people. Later this month, he will be in charge of producing such content at The Telegraph in Macon and the Ledger-Enquirer in Columbus.

Sacramento-based McClatchy, which owns 30 newspapers across the nation, has promoted Chisenhall to Georgia editor. He was scheduled to begin his new duties Feb. 26.

Jeremy Chisenhall

Chisenhall has worked as a reporter and an editor at the Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky since 2020. He was breaking news editor.

“We had an extensive search for our next Georgia editor and Jeremy was the clear-cut choice,” said Blake Kaplan, the regional editor who oversees Georgia, Mississippi and Ohio newspapers for McClatchy. “Jeremy brings strong news judgment, endless enthusiasm and outstanding digital skills to both our Georgia papers. I am certain he will thrive in this position.”

Chisenhall, 25, expressed gratitude for the confidence Kaplan has in him. “These are two papers with really great histories, really great legacies,” he said, “and to be able to have the opportunity to lead both of them, as early in my career as I am, is really just a humbling opportunity.”

As the Georgia editor for McClatchy, Chisenhall said, “I want to ensure that these two papers get the opportunity to continue doing the great work that they’ve done. Beyond that, I want to be able to take that to another level and ensure that these two communities understand that these papers are essential resources for them as they go about their daily lives.”

Chisenhall, who will be based in Macon and plans to regularly visit Columbus, emphasizes reporting that provides “accountability, great enterprise work and stories that really matter to the audience.”

— Mark Rice, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Appen picked for E&P’s 25 Under 35

Carl Appen of Alpharetta’s Appen Media Group has been recognized on Editor & Publisher magazine’s 25 Under 35 feature on notable young professionals in the journalism industry.

Carl Appen

Appen, 27, is director of content and development for Appen Media Group, an associate media member of Georgia Press Association. Appen Media Group is a family-owned media company that operates a core of five weekly newspapers with a combined home-delivered circulation of 105,000 copies distributed in the north Fulton suburbs of Alpharetta, Dunwoody, Roswell, Johns Creek, Milton, Sandy Springs and south Forsyth County.

Appen, who graduated from the University of Oklahoma, joined the business in 2019 and began running the editorial, production and commercial teams in 2021.

— Editor & Publisher

Maxwell becomes sole owner of Donalsonville News

At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve as 2024 dawned, so began a new chapter in the history of the Donalsonville News.

Effective January 1, the ownership of the newspaper transferred from Dan Ponder and family to Donalsonville News editor David C. Maxwell.

In addition to serving as the paper’s managing editor, a post Maxwell says he has proudly devoted himself to for the past 12 years, Maxwell will now also assume the responsibilities of publisher and sole owner.

Maxwell said, “Words fail me in trying to express my gratitude to Dan and the entire Ponder family for this tremendous opportunity. It is indeed a dream come true for me, and I will be eternally grateful to the Ponders for having the confidence in me to carry on the great tradition of this newspaper and its service to the community. It is said that if you can find a job you absolutely love you will never have to work another day in your life. Well, that’s how I feel because I absolutely love this job and the people of Seminole County. I will continue each day to honorably tell the stories and to put the faces of the people in this community on the pages of their hometown paper. It has been the newspaper’s goal from day one, and it continues today, to give our readers and advertisers exactly what they deserve – the absolute best.”

“Recognizing there are still areas in which to improve,  the newspaper’s office manager Rhonda Worrell, and I are committed to effectively and efficiently serving our readers, our advertisers and our community. We believe that our best journalistic efforts are ahead of us, and we will never stop in our efforts to improve and expand our coverage as we work to become the best weekly community newspaper of our size in Georgia,” said Maxwell.

— Donalsonville News

David Maxwell, left, and Dan Ponder outside the Donalsonville News.


























The Covington News chooses new editor

Evan Newton has been named the news editor for The Covington News effective Nov. 1, proprietor and Publisher Patrick Graham announced.

Evan Newton

“Evan is a real go-getter who is going to instantly enhance and expand the quality of the news coverage we provide our readers and the community,” Graham said. “In his relatively brief career Evan has already shown he can do it all as a journalist, and we’re going to give him the opportunity to put that versatility on full display.”

Newton comes to The Covington News after being a reporter at The Monticello News for the past several months. He is an alumnus of Georgia College and State University where he graduated in May 2023.

He has a bachelor of arts in communications with a concentration in film, TV and audio production as well as a minor in rhetoric.

Newton shared his enthusiasm about getting started. “I’m extremely excited about taking the next step in my career and serving an area that I’ve visited my whole life,” Newton said. “It’s an honor to be a part of a team of passionate storytellers that are committed to reporting the best quality news possible.”

Newton can be reached at

— The Covington News

Appen Media Group recognized by The New York Times

Georgia Press Association associate media member Appen Media Group was noted by The New York Times late in 2023 for its work on a story about the city of Milton and a committee studying the feasibility of the city running its own local elections.

The Times recognized Appen Media on its “Local Journalism Worth Reading From 2023” list, along with dozens of other newspaper and digital profit and nonprofit publications across the country. The list highlights local journalism that holds government accountable or shines light on issues affecting communities, such as environmental challenges, criminal justice matters or socioeconomic problems.

Appen Media’s story from late 2022 noted informal meetings held by the committee that were not open to the public and questions raised by the public about the motivation of committee members. The committee was tasked with studying the feasibility of the city running its own elections rather than paying Fulton County to manage them.

Click here to read the story that was recognized by The Times.

Georgia Trust for Local News launches to conserve and strengthen community news in middle and south Georgia

National Trust for Local News subsidiary will sustain community newspapers in Georgia with support from Knight, Woodruff and Casey foundations

The nonprofit National Trust for Local News is establishing the Georgia Trust for Local News, a new community newspaper company that will serve Middle and South Georgia. Anchored by support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, and the Marguerite Casey Foundation, the Georgia Trust for Local News is dedicated to providing and strengthening impartial, timely, and relevant community news. The Georgia Trust will begin operations in January with a portfolio of 18 newspapers that serve 900,000 Georgians in communities across Middle and South Georgia and an initiative to stand up a new community news source in Macon. Georgia Trust titles will include iconic publications with deep roots in the communities they serve, like The Albany Herald, Dublin’s Courier Herald, The Sparta Ishmaelite and The Talbotton New Era.

DuBose Porter

“We are protecting and expanding the work that these wonderful newspapers already do for nearly one million Georgians in the heart of our state,” says DuBose Porter, the longtime publisher of the Dublin Courier-Herald Group who will serve as the Georgia Trust’s executive director and whose newspapers will become the backbone of the Georgia Trust. “Each of our newspapers serves a different community in a distinct way and all will have greater resources and stronger infrastructure to provide first-rate community journalism.”

The Georgia Trust will be led by a diverse group with deep roots in Georgia. Alongside Executive Director DuBose Porter, Caleb Slinkard will serve as Executive Editor. Slinkard was most recently Georgia Editor at McClatchy, where he led the newsrooms of The Macon Telegraph and The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Longtime Georgia newspaper executive Pam Burney will serve as General Manager.

“Community journalism is about strengthening our connections to each other and our understanding of the world around us,” says Slinkard, executive editor. “It’s how folks keep tabs on local governments and school boards, follow high school sports and learn what’s going on in their neighborhoods.”

The Georgia Trust for Local News is using philanthropic funding to launch its work, and subscribers, advertisers, and community members will continue to sustain it.

“With this grant, Knight Foundation furthers two of our deepest commitments: to strengthening the Macon community, and to supporting local news,” said Jim Brady, vice president of journalism for Knight Foundation. “We are honored to be a founding funder of the National Trust for Local News and to contribute to the growth of sustainable and independent news in Georgia.”

“Local news only works when it’s created and sustained by local people,” says Lisa Borders, a member of the National Trust for Local News board of directors and former president of the Grady Health and Coca-Cola Foundations. “From supporters like the Woodruff, Casey, and Knight foundations, to the journalists and staff at these iconic papers, and to leaders like DuBose, Caleb and Pam, the Georgia Trust for Local News has deep roots in Georgia. We are grateful for this opportunity to serve our state.”

“Strong, sustainable and non-partisan local news is essential to healthy communities,” says Woodruff Foundation President Russ Hardin. “We are pleased to support an effort that promises to sustain and strengthen local newspapers in Georgia.”

“The dismantling of local news disparately impacts marginalized communities,” said Marguerite Casey Foundation President and CEO Dr. Carmen Rojas. “We look forward to supporting the Georgia Trust as it uplifts the issues impacting Georgians and builds stronger community newspapers.”

In addition to investing in its inaugural portfolio of newspapers, the Georgia Trust will launch a local news source in Macon, Georgia in 2024. Anchored by support from the Knight Foundation, this effort will leverage a partnership with Mercer University’s Reg Murphy Center for Collaborative Journalism.

— Georgia Trust for Local News