Meet Roger Jewell: The man behind "The Monitor"
Roger Jewell is the publisher, owner and editor of The Travelers Rest Monitor, a weekly print newspaper based in Travelers Rest, South Carolina. He has owned the paper for a little over two years after working his way up from a volunteer sportswriter covering local stock car races and high school athletics way back in 1978. From volunteer sportswriter he was promoted to Sports Editor and from there he became the newspaper's Managing Editor in 2003 after becoming the Society Of Professional Journalists' first journalist to earn the SPJ National Sunshine Award following a hard fought battle against the local police department for access to public records. Even after becoming Managing Editor, Roger continued to cover sports at Furman University, North Greenville University, NASCAR racing and area high school sports. His coverage of athletics has earned him two South Carolina Press Association Awards for sports column writing. While covering local government as Managing Editor, Roger became known as a bulldog reporter and his efforts in watchdog journalism earned him the first ever South Carolina Press Association Jim Davenport Assertive Journalism award. He is an old schooler when it comes to protecting people's right to know and one of the most subborn fellas around.
The Monitor was established in 1970 by another hardnosed journalist, Larry Atkins. Atkins operated a print shop in Marietta, South Carolina and when the daily newspapers in Greenville provided little coverage of Slater-Marietta High School's basketball state championship, Larry started his own newspaper. At that time it was called "Community News" and it consisted of a single 8 1/2" by 11" sheet of paper. It quickly grew to several pages and it wasn't long before advertisers wanted to buy space in the paper. From "Community News" the paper became "Greenville County Monitor" and from there it became "The Mountain Monitor" (a name that some old timers still refer to The Travelers Rest Monitor.
Our motto at The Monitor has always been "small enough to care - big enough to make a difference." That that holds true today. We may be one of the smallest weekly newspapers in South Carolina but we are big enough to kick some major butt when those that can't defend themselves need defending. We have taken on a corrupt county sheriff, a police chief that harbored a bully cop and refused to release public records, red tape that prevented a traffic light from being placed at a deadly highway intersection, stopped a millionaire developer from polluting the North Saluda River with sewage and lit a few fires under a few mayor's feet that needed to get right with the people.
We are still here, publishing every week riding the financial drains associated with being a 21st century newspaper in a gadget filled world where people flip and click their electronic toys for the news. We have dedicated advertisers and are always looking for more so that we can continue to represent the common people of northern Greenville County, South Carolina