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The Sanford Herald heavy-hitters, left to right, Reporter Zach Potter, Editor R.V. Hight, and Publisher Bill Horner III, join the ol’ perfesser to display two new Chinese community journalism during a Roadshow visit to Sanford earlier this summer. (Photo by Chen Kai)


The greatest reward a teacher can get is seeing former students succeeding in the real world.

So it was with deep satisfaction that the Roadshow recently visited the Sanford Herald where long-time pals Publisher Bill Horner III and Editor R.V. Hight have just hired Zach Potter, my star graduate from the UNC J-school class of ’14.

This past spring semester, Zach served with distinction as co-editor of the Durham VOICE, our inner-city urban youth empowerment community newspaper.  But putting out a twice monthly is nothing like working full-time at a daily with a two-story-a-day quota.

Happily,  Zach has lived up to his clippings, so to speak.

His favorite story? Interviewing local D-Day vets, whose personal stories of the Normandy Beach invasion “blew my mind,” he confided, adding that after hearing about the hardships they endured  — never again would he complain about little things like a bad-hair day.

His toughest story? Walking the fine line of accuracy, objectivity and fairness on a local Rodney King-type story.

Zach’s growth makes the ol’ perfesser mighty proud.

The Sanford Herald, general excellent winner for the third year in a row in its category, deserved the best of my Community Journalism class.  Zach is that promising “cub reporter” now quickly growing into senior reporter status.

And a shout-out to Bill and R.V., who realize that a nurturing newsroom like theirs makes for the best graduate school of community journalism.

Onward and upward.


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