Now Habersham celebrates six years of sharing the stories of Northeast Georgia

The idea of creating Now Habersham as an on-line website began for Joy Purcell in prayer and with the encouragement of key people around her. As a long-time broadcaster and journalist, Joy was ready to approach sharing news in a different format. Her dream was to harness the technology available in 2014 to create the town hall of yesterday.

Six years later, that vision has driven the reporting and story-telling of every reporter who has served the news organization. Joy describes Now Habersham as “a patchwork of the staff members, the stories they’ve told, and the community in which they’ve worked.” She’s grateful for the many who have lent their voices to create something very special. As technology has improved, so has Now Habersham’s ability to cover what’s happening by offering visually stunning photographs, recorded videos of important community meetings, and up-to-the-minute news updates.

Now Habersham just before it was launched at 11:49 a.m. on Sept. 15, 2014.

Over the years, Now Habersham​ ​has ​expanded​​ to include more Northeast Georgia news and has ​established ​a national and global presence as well.

Now Habersham seeks to reflect the breadth of the human experience and looks for stories that uplift and inspire readers and that connect us all as a community. While these are often favorite stories to tell, Now Habersham also tackles the tough topics and sometimes harsh realities of life.

Countdown to launch

In the beginning, Joy had the support of Michelle Wetherbee, who also became one of the first staff writers and marketers. Together, they outlined the tenets upon which Now Habersham would thrive:

  1. Community matters.
  2. Timely news coverage.
  3. Provide news from home to those away from home.
  4. Faith would always be at the center of the Now Habersham page.

“Michelle believed in my vision and encouraged and supported me from the very beginning,” says Joy. “She gave me the push I needed to launch Now Habersham.”

They spent ​​months planning and developing the site and when it finally came time to go live​,​ “Michelle said, ‘Pick a date,'” recalls Joy. “I picked September 15 because it was two weeks away​ and I was nervous. I wasn’t quite ready to take that leap of faith. If Michelle hadn’t insisted on a launch date, you might not be reading this.”

In the past year, Now Habersham’s readership has more than doubled. We now average over 120,000 visitors a month. Millions of people have visited the site in the past six years.  Globally, we’ve reached readers in most countries throughout the world.

Now Habersham’s social media presence has continued to expand as well and now includes nearly 34,000 actively engaged followers. Our stories ​routinely reach over a hundred-thousand people weekly on Facebook and thousands more through Instagram​, Twitter, and YouTube.​

Recently, Now Habersham launched a daily news email that delivers local news headlines right to your inbox. Already, 1,600 people have subscribed.

“Our readers and advertisers keep us going,” says Joy. “We are beyond grateful.”

We who serve through Now Habersham are proud of what we do. We strive to provide fair, balanced, timely news. We love to tell the stories of people in our community, to celebrate special moments, and to support those who are struggling through dark times. We love to explore the history and the attractions of the area and introduce those to people worldwide. We hope to inspire our community along the way.

Thanks for your support of Now Habersham. We look forward to the next six years of telling your stories.

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