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FCT welcomes new reporter

This time of year, recent college graduates begin to emerge into the workforce and make their mark on society. July 22 the Franklin County Times welcomed one of those recent college graduates to the staff.

Ciera Hughes, a recent graduate from the University of North Alabama, has stepped in as Franklin County Times staff reporter.

Hughes earned a degree in multimedia journalism and has worked in journalism since 2016. Her previous positions include news editor and editor-in-chief for the UNA campus newspaper, the Flor-Ala; intern at the Decatur Daily; and sports writer at The TimesDaily in Florence.

“We’re excited to have Ciera at the Franklin County Times,” said Scott Brown, director of operations for TN Valley Media, owner of the FCT. “Ciera has interned for us in the Decatur newsroom and for the past year worked in the TimesDaily sports department. She’s a solid journalist who will enhance our coverage of the community.”

Hughes said one of the things that initially drew her to the Franklin County Times is how close the community is.

“There is something so rewarding about covering events in these small communities,” Hughes said. “When there is an event in a big city, people don’t care if a reporter is there or not. They don’t care to learn names or know the people they serve. I don’t think journalism should be about that. At the end of the day, my job is to serve the community.”

Hughes lives in Florence but is relocating to Russellville in the near future. She said she is excited to become a part of each community and get to know the individual members.

“I want to be the reporter who community members feel comfortable talking to,” Hughes said. “Every individual has a story, and I want to hear it. I want to be the reporter who locals feel comfortable coming up to in the grocery store to tell about an event. That is the relationship I want to build.”

Managing editor Alison James said Hughes has already begun making positive contributions to the Franklin County Times.

“Ciera brings an energy and passion to this role that means great things for our coverage of Russellville and Franklin County,” James said. “She is eager to get out there and learn about our communities, and she is definitely going to be an asset to our staff.”

James said she encourages people across Franklin County to drop by and meet Hughes and call Hughes with any story ideas they might have. 

Hughes said even though she has only been in the community for a short time, she is already amazed by the hospitality the citizens of Franklin County have shown her.