In 2021, the owners of The Oglethorpe Echo — with offices in Lexington, Georgia — planned to close the paper after 148 years. Within hours of hearing the news, an alum of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, Dink NeSmith, had hatched a plan. Instead of shutting the paper, would the Maxwell family consider donating it? The nonprofit org Oglethorpe Echo Legacy, Inc. was born and the paper has been running as a news-academic partnership since.
Amanda Bright, assistant editor and instructor at The Echo, outlines some of the hard-won lessons she and her students have learned since the j-school took over.