Years of watching reality TV shows like “Survivor,” “Big Brother” and “The Bachelor” had me overthinking how I would go about hiring a new reporter for our three weekly newspapers.
Should I kick off the interview process by forcing candidates to participate in a physically demanding obstacle course? Or should I have them answer trivia questions about 1980s breakfast cereals while getting pelted with medicine balls?
I nearly settled on a singing competition in which I award the winner a one-year employment contract.
While all of these are fantastic ideas, a friend of mine that stocks the drink machines at a law office gave me some great legal advice. He told me to read through resumes, interview promising candidates and pick the person who could do the best job. While this process isn’t as fun as a masked singer competition, I committed to it.
After reviewing more than 120 candidates, we hired Dante Miller. Since graduating from North Carolina A&T, she’s freelanced for Charlotte-area publications, such as Q City Metro and CharlotteFive. She’s also interned with the N.C. Department of Transportation, as well as the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture.
Aside from writing, she struck me as very personable and very hungry to prove herself. She’s primarily going to write for Union County Weekly, freeing other staff to support our Mecklenburg County newspapers.
I’m just glad this process is over, so I can get back to putting ink on this paper.
People freak over chicken
While working on a story about Coffee with a Cop, Paul Nielsen learned details of a Chick-fil-A proposed to open across the street from Mint Hill Town Hall in mid-2020.
He posted a short story that within a few hours broke our web traffic records. The story was shared a few dozen times on Facebook. Some people were excited. Others hated the location.
“Not crazy about the location,” wrote Barbara Davis Baugh. “So you’re entering or leaving the funeral home for your loved one’s funeral and you get to hear people ordering their food?”
Ellen Ramsey said her 6-year-old grandson could have picked a better spot.
Needless to say, we’ll follow this story as it continues to cook.
If you are active on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, look for us @mmhweekly. We’re trying to use these platforms to grow our audience beyond our distribution footprint. Also, don’t forget to register for our Thrive Over 55 Senior Expo on March 29 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Christ Covenant Church.