Meet The Press

The Augusta Press is a local online newspaper that covers Richmond and Columbia counties. The paper is locally owned by long-time residents and natives of these counties. We work from two premises:

  1. The purpose of the press is to tell the truth and to raise hell. (Chicago Tribune, 1861)
  2. The job of a newspaper is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. (paraphrase from Peter Finley Dunne, Chicago Evening Post, 1893)

Mission Statement

The Augusta Press exists to bring the latest local CSRA news to readers; to serve as a watchdog on government by protecting the public’s right to know what their elected officials are doing and, more importantly, why they are doing it; to entertain readers with insightful, touching, and thought-provoking features; and to serve as a public forum for the discussion of public issues via editorials and opinion pieces. The staff and owners of the paper pledge to conduct their news/editorial work with an eye to the social responsibilities all journalists bear and to speak truth to power at all times.  We hold to the Society of Professional Journalists CODE OF ETHICS a copy of which can be found by clicking here.

NOTE: The Augusta Press is a public forum, and while we encourage public discussion of issues pertinent to our coverage area, we reserve the right to limit letters to the editor by a single author or on a single topic to once every 30 days. Opinions expressed in letters to the editor, columns and other opinion pieces are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Augusta Press.

 

Staff

Debbie Reddin van Tuyll is an award winning journalist who has experience covering government, courts, law enforcement, and education. She has worked for both daily and weekly newspapers as a reporter, photographer, editor, and page designer. Van Tuyll has been teaching journalism for the last 30 years but has always remained active in the profession as an editor of Augusta Today (a city magazine published in the late 1990s and early 2000s) and a medical journal. She is the author of six books on the history of journalism with numbers seven and eight slated to appear in Spring 2021. She is the winner of two lifetime achievement awards in journalism history research and service.
Scott Hudson is an award winning investigative journalist from Augusta, GA who reported daily for WGAC AM/FM radio as well as maintaining a monthly column for the Buzz On Biz newspaper. Scott co-edited the award winning book "Augusta's WGAC: The Voice Of The Garden City For Seventy Years" and authored the book "The Contract On The Government."
Joe Edge is a lifelong Augusta GA native. He graduated from Evans high school in 2000 and served four years in the United States Marine Corps right out of High School. Joe has been married for 18 years and has five children.
Award-winning journalist Sandy Hodson The Augusta Press courts reporter. She is a native of Indiana, but she has been an Augusta resident since 1995 when she joined the staff of the Augusta Chronicle where she covered courts and public affairs. Hodson is a graduate of Ball State University, and she holds a certificate in investigative reporting from the Investigative Reporters and Editors organization. Before joining the Chronicle, Hodson spent six years at the Jackson, Tenn. Sun. Hodson received the prestigious Georgia Press Association Freedom of Information Award in 2015, and she has won press association awards for investigative reporting, non-deadline reporting, hard news reporting, public service and specialty reporting. In 2000, Hodson won the Georgia Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award, and in 2001, she received Honorable Mention for the same award and is a fellow of the National Press Foundation and a graduate of the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting boot camp.
Greg Rickabaugh is an award-winning crime reporter in the Augusta-Aiken area with experience writing for The Augusta Chronicle and serving as publisher of The Jail Report. He also owns AugustaCrime.com. Rickabaugh is a 1994 graduate of the University of South Carolina and has appeared on several crime documentaries on the Investigation Discovery channel. He is married with two daughters.
Susan McCord is a veteran journalist and writer who began her career at publications in Asheville, N.C. She spent nearly a decade at newspapers across rural southwest Georgia, then returned to her Augusta hometown for a position at the print daily. She’s a graduate of the Academy of Richmond County and the University of Georgia. Susan is dedicated to transparency and ethics, both in her work and in the beats she covers. She is the recipient of multiple awards, including a Ravitch Fiscal Reporting Fellowship, first place for hard news writing from the Georgia Press Association and the Morris Communications Community Service Award.
Skyler Andrews is a bona fide native of the CSRA; born in Augusta, raised in Aiken, with family roots in Edgefield County, S.C., and presently residing in the Augusta area. A graduate of University of South Carolina - Aiken with a Bachelor of Arts in English, he has produced content for Verge Magazine, The Aiken Standard and the Augusta Conventions and Visitors Bureau. Amid working various jobs from pest control to life insurance and real estate, he is also an active in the Augusta arts community; writing plays, short stories and spoken-word pieces. He can often be found throughout downtown with his nose in a book, writing, or performing stand-up comedy.
Liz Wright started with The Augusta Press in May of 2022, and loves to cover a variety of community topics. She strives to always report in a truthful and fair manner, which will lead to making her community a better place. With a desire to spread more positive news, she especially loves to write about good things happening in Augusta. In her spare time, she can be found reading novels or walking her rambunctious, rescue pit bull.
Mike Meyers is a public relations and community relations leader as well as a church pastor. He is known as a calm and decisive leader, who can communicate and deliver. As a former government information officer with 20 years in public service, Meyers is known as a servant leader who uses storytelling, consistency and big picture examples to connect audiences. He states that his mission is to inspire pride, engagement, and advocacy for “the least of these.” Mike believes that “He who manages the information - manages the future.”
Sylvia Cooper-Rogers (on Facebook) is better known in Augusta by her byline Sylvia Cooper. Cooper is a Georgia native but lived for seven years in Oxford, Mississippi. She believes everybody ought to live in Mississippi for awhile at some point. Her bachelor’s degree is from the University of Georgia, summa cum laude where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Zodiac. (Zodiac was twelve women with the highest scholastic averages). Her Masters degree in Speech and Theater, is from the University of Mississippi. Cooper began her news writing career at the Valdosta Daily Times. She also worked for the Rome News Tribune. She worked at The Augusta Chronicle as a news reporter for 18 years, mainly covering local politics but many other subjects as well, such as gardening. She also, wrote a weekly column, mainly for the Chronicle on local politics for 15 of those years. Before all that beginning her journalistic career, Cooper taught seventh-grade English in Oxford, Miss. and later speech at Valdosta State College and remedial English at Armstrong State University. Her honors and awards include the Augusta Society of Professional Journalists first and only Margaret Twiggs award; the Associated Press First Place Award for Public Service around 1994; Lou Harris Award; and the Chronicle's Employee of the Year in 1995.
Connie Wilson has worked in the commercial real estate industry for over a decade. She has lived in Columbia County for the last 30 years with her husband and two daughters. Connie is a graduate of Leadership Columbia County and is very active in the local community. In addition to being the CFO of The Augusta Press, Connie is the managing partner of Sherman & Hemstreet, Inc. the CSRA’s largest commercial real estate firm.