Baxter joins staff of newspaper
The News-Topic has added a new member to its editorial staff.
Jennifer Baxter joined the paper Monday, filling the position formerly held by Paul Teague, who departed last month to accept a slot with the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission.
Baxter, 35, originally is from Frederick, Md., located between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. She has been working with the Charlotte Observer and Statesville Record and Landmark on a freelance basis since 2007, and this will be her first full-time journalism position.
“I really feel like writing is my God-given gift,” Baxter said. “I started writing when I was in the seventh grade, and I’ve always enjoyed it. I guess I didn’t seriously think of doing anything with it professionally until recently.”
Baxter received a communication degree from the University of Maryland University College in College Park, Md. She spent 10 years in sales and marketing and had been working in the health care field until her hiring at the News-Topic. Even while working in other areas, Baxter wrote on a freelance basis.
“I had positive response from the blogs I had written,” she said. “Every time I stepped out and wrote something and received positive feedback, it further confirmed that this is what I’m supposed to be doing.”
Baxter said expanding her repertoire as a writer through different areas of coverage is her main focus as she begins her full-time writing career with the News-Topic.
“I want to write about people and events, things happening in the community that affect the citizens,” she said. “I want to be able to share the stories of people.”
Baxter likened Lenoir to her hometown in Maryland.
“I grew up in an area similar to here, and I like the small-town atmosphere,” she said. “I like that you can have that felling of seeing people on the street you recognize and know. I want to get to know people and tell their stories.”
A self-proclaimed animal lover, Baxter also has a desire to volunteer, just as she did for animal organizations and Hospice units in other places she has lived.
“I genuinely care about other people and seek opportunities to help others,” Baxter said. “I want to try to find opportunities where I can volunteer for the things most important to me and help out in the community.”