About Us


The Sylva Herald and Ruralite is an award-winning community newspaper serving Sylva and Jackson County since 1926. Located in Western North Carolina near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway and Cherokee Indian Reservation, The Sylva Herald provides readers with quality local news, features, sports, obituaries, classified advertising, real estate listings and more.

Long regarded as a center of higher education, Jackson County is home to two colleges, Western Carolina University in Cullowhee and Southwestern Community College in Sylva. A member campus of the University of North Carolina, WCU offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees. SCC offers two-year degrees in a variety of technical and health fields.

The Sylva Herald's online presence further enhances our ability to be a resource for both our local and global communities. Enjoy a sampling of our locally-written articles ranging from profiles and features spotlighting our mountain heritage to in-depth coverage of county issues and local sports. Access information about tourism and accommodations. Check online advertisements for places to shop while vacationing in the mountains. Check our classifieds for Western North Carolina job listings, career opportunities and real estate.



Dave Russell - Editor

Dave worked on the opinion/editorial pages at the Asheville Citizen-Times from 2001-10. Hired primarily to process letters to the editor, his role soon expanded to writing a column and staff editorials, photography, page layout and, as he puts it, "heaps and heaps of proofreading." Prior to joining the Herald, Dave worked with a local nonprofit, RiverLink, a group dedicated to preserving and championing the French Broad River.

Jim Buchanan - Special Projects Editor

Jim is a Jackson native and graduate of Sylva-Webster High and Western Carolina University. He was editor of the Cashiers Crossroads Chronicle before a 30-year career at the Asheville Citizen-Times, where he spent 22 years on the editorial board and served as editorial page editor for 8 years. He has received multiple awards for editorial and column writing over four decades. He currently serves as editor for the Herald, and is vice-president of the WNC Historical Association.

Carey Phillips - Sports Editor/Assistant Editor

Carey has been employed at the Herald since 1982. In addition to covering local sports, he assists with copy editing and reports the Sylva Police Department and Jackson County court system. A lifelong resident of Jackson County, he is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.



Margo Gray - Advertising Manager

Margo, an award-winning advertising designer, has been with The Sylva Herald for most of her professional life. She heads four-person staff that strives to create attention-grabbing ads that generate business for the newspaper’s customers. She holds a degree in art from Western Carolina University.

Jan Extine - Advertising Representative

A native of Jackson County, Jan has been with The Herald since 1984. She began her design career in pre-press work for The Herald’s print shop and transferred to advertising in 1991. She holds a degree in advertising design from Southwestern Community College and also attended WCU.

Teresa Norris - Advertising Representative

Originally from Gastonia, Teresa Norris has worked in advertising for more than 10 years. She holds an associate’s degree from Southwestern Community College and has lived in North Georgia), St Louis, Mo., and Franklin. She has a married son who lives in Marble and attends Tri-County Community College.

G R A P H I C S / D E S I G N

Sherry Tilley - Advertising Representative/Layout design

Sherry joined The Herald in 2002. In addition to advertising sales and design, she assists with pagination. She holds a degree in advertising and graphic design from Southwestern Community College.



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