A Melancholy Farewell

Gamecock_Illustrated_Logo copyThis is Gamecock Illustrated manager Jordan Smith. As you have probably noticed, There has been a lengthy period of inactivity on here. That is because I received some bitter-sweet news in July.

I graduated from Jacksonville State in May with a degree in Communication and hopes of joining the media. Well those hopes became a reality in late July when I was hired by FOX6 News in Birmingham as a Digital Content Producer. The distance between Jacksonville and Birmingham made it impossible to provide the coverage and story telling you became used to over the past year. After months of brainstorming ways I could still run GI, I finally came to terms with the reality that I cannot. It is that reality that has brought me to the unfortunate decision to shut down GI.

This was a remarkable opportunity for me and I would be remiss if I didn’t thank GI’s founders Greg Harley and Bill Nash for trusting me with their brain child.

I would also like to thank the people who partnered with GI, WLJS radio programs The Scrimmage and Cain & Country. Those partnerships provided GI with a chance to be live on the radio and to pursue advertisement for the first time.

I would like to thank Mark Edwards of the Anniston Star for often allowing me to publish my work for The Star on GI and for using a GI exclusive with Pierre Warren in the Star.

I would like to thank JSU’s football team for the amazing ride they took us on in 2013. They played a major role in helping me get GI back off the ground.

When I took over GI, I did so with ambitions of expanding its coverage from just football to all other JSU sports. Teams like the women’s basketball, softball, baseball and tennis made that a very easy task. By far the coolest thing I have ever been a part of was the social media campaign that helped land the women’s basketball team on ESPN’s Top 10 plays. My only regret is not getting to the other sports, especially in 2014. We have teams with amazing stories to tell and I wish I could be there for the journey.

I am especially proud of creating GI’s Awards page. I enjoyed seeing the excitement from athletes on social media when they realized someone was recognizing them for something they did or said.

I would like to thank the JSU Sports Information Staff. They provided access to athletes, coaches, administrators and a lot of the photos you’ve seen on GI.

I would like to thank David Lann and JSUFan.com’s founder James Harkins for allowing me to use their photos to tell my stories.

I would also like to thank the good people of GoJaxState. Without them, I almost certainly never would have revived GI.

The skills I used in GI played a major role in landing me at FOX6. My concentration was in print, but GI allowed me to transfer my print skills into the digital world. I want another student to have that same story to tell. It is with that in mind I ask for anyone interested in being my successor to be a student who is pursuing a career in the media. GI was an incredible opportunity for me and it can be for another student as well.

Any students interested in being my successor can contact me on my Twitter account @Jsmith_FOX6.

My JSU coverage can still be found, albeit in a diminished capacity, on Myfoxal.com. It was fun while it lasted. Until next time, farewell. And as always, go Jax State!

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