Lanell Smith named Regional Editor

Published 3:25 pm Friday, July 28, 2023

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Boone Newsmedia, Inc. (BNI) named Lanell Downs Smith Regional Editor on July 26. In the expanded role, Smith will continue managing content for Greenville Newspapers, Inc. publications – The Greenville Advocate, The Lowndes Signal, and The Luverne Journal – while assuming leadership for sister newspapers, The Selma-Times Journal and The Demopolis Times.

Smith said joining the Boone Newsmedia family in October 2022 represented the realization of a lifelong dream. Assuming a regional position in which she can facilitate the sharing of news in surrounding communities, is a privilege and a responsibility she feels honored to take on.

“My family and I have deep roots in and around Crenshaw County,” Smith said. “I grew up in Lapine and value our small-town way of life. Our local communities and those around us are very important to me. I can think of no higher goal than to share accurate and timely news important to the people we serve.”

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Smith comes to the position with several years of editorial experience. Her articles appear in The Alabama Baptist, The Baptist Paper, and Missions Mosaic magazine, a publication of the Southern Baptist auxiliary Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU). In addition, she writes discipleship curriculum and edits educational materials for WMU publications.

“It’s a blessing to use my talents to glorify God by highlighting the work His people are doing in His name,” Smith said. “I count it a special privilege to highlight the work of believers in our local communities as they strive to love and serve the people around them.”

Smith earned first place for a newspaper article at the Southern Christian Writers Conference in July 2020. She was named BNI reporter of the quarter in 2022 and earned recognition for the most read bylined story among small BNI sites in June.

“I look forward to learning more about Selma and Demopolis, to becoming acquainted with local people, and helping to expand our local coverage,” Smith said. “Our people deserve to learn about local happenings from their own community newspaper and that is what we are striving to do. Our news teams want to deliver the best possible news coverage for our communities, and I am excited to be part of that effort.”

The Lapine native is a member of First Baptist Church and Kiwanis in Luverne and serves as vice president for the Alabama WMU Board of Trustees. She is the mother of two daughters, and their husbands and also grandmother to one granddaughter. 

Smith said she enjoys serving God in her local community and helping others reach their personal and professional goals.

“Lanell has a wonderful spirit and has earned this opportunity through her excellent work as journalist, first as a staff reporter for our Greenville group of newspapers, and then as Managing editor,” said Greenville and Demopolis Newspapers General Manager David Lovell. “I look forward to seeing how our communities will benefit from her work.”