Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
May 9, 2022
Outgoing Fernandina Observer reporter Suanne Thamm used the occasion of covering her final meeting with the Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) on May 3, 2022 to formally introduce incoming newsblog editor Mike Phillips to the FBCC and the community. While Thamm acknowledged that she would miss her “Tuesday nights out with the boys,” she reassured commissioners that Phillips, with his extensive background in publishing newspapers, will greatly enhance the Fernandina Observer’s depth and coverage.
In addressing the FBCC, Phillips said that as part of the transition, he is dealing with the IRS and the Florida Secretary of State to obtain non-profit status for the newsblog. “This will make the news operation a lot sturdier,” he said. “This is a major trend in community journalism across the country. It puts better legs underneath an operation that can at times be incredibly fraught with changing media circumstances. If you think we have seen a lot of changes in the last 10 years, you just wait.”
Phillips ended his presentation expressing a desire to meet with individual commissioners.