The Sumter Item adds 2 to newsroom; Alaysha Maple joins as multimedia reporter, Cal Cary as photojournalist


The Sumter Item welcomed two multimedia reporters to its newsroom team this month.

Alaysha Maple joins The Item as a reporter, and Cal Cary joins as a photojournalist and reporter.

Maple was born and raised in Sumter and returns now after graduating from the College of Charleston with a degree in communication. She will cover public safety in Sumter and Lee counties, and she will help the newsroom expand its coverage in Lee County to provide more access to information and prevent rural and underserved communities from ceasing to see their stories told in local news.

After college, Maple applied her creative skills and love for writing to create the H.E.R. Blog. While in college, her self-taught experience in editing and social media coordinating was useful in promoting The Apiphany Podcast.

Her passion for storytelling, love for connecting with others and endless need to create drives Maple to continue to find new, unique ways to share the extraordinary experiences of those around her.

"Being a reporter for the same newspaper I grew up reading is surreal," Maple said. "My passion for writing, admiration for the art of journalism and love for the people of my hometown has made me into who I am today. Giving back to my community by showcasing the beauty I know it has is a dream of mine, and writing for The Sumter Item is only the start."

Cary was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in northern Virginia. He started studying journalism at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2014 and slowly transitioned into studying photography. In 2016, he transferred to Rochester Institute of Technology and earned a bachelor's degree in photojournalism in 2018.

After graduating, he began freelancing for The Washington Post and worked as a freelance photojournalist for three years. His work has been picked up by the Virginia Pilot and Associated Press.

"I love photography because of the way it can tell a story through images and how it can act by itself as a way to convey emotions and describe a scene," Cary said. "Working for The Item gives me the opportunity to tell a story with more than just my writing, but also with my camera."

To reach Maple, email, or call (803) 774-1241.

To reach Cary, email, or call (803) 774-1283.

To learn more about or contact them and the rest of The Item team, go to