Former journalism professor's novel touches nerve with many an editor working in community press


If the gruesome slaughter of five people happened in the newsroom of a paper in Annapolis, Maryland, could it happen in South Carolina?

What exactly could occur when a group of angry citizens have a festering gripe with their hometown community newspaper?

And how would the newspaper respond if this irate group of people seemed only to get angrier and more demanding by the day?

Even the community's high sheriff - under seige himself by that same crowd of complainants - seems to have no answers.

These are a couple of uncannily timely themes in a new novel - "Unlikeliest Witness" - published earlier this summer by Larry C. Timbs Jr.

Timbs is a former community newspaper editor and retired Winthrop University journalism professor now living in the mountains of East Tennessee. He says that the big story of the recent newsroom shooting in Annapolis is something that all too many community newspapers can relate to.

"All it takes is one deranged or mentally ill person to bust into a newsroom and vent his spleen. Tragedy can quickly ensue," Timbs said. "If you're a journalist working in a small town in South Carolina, you can definitely relate to what I write about in my new book."

Unlikeliest Witness, published by Doggy Dog Press, is available on Amazon.