Mainstreet Newspapers' co-publisher Mike Buffington was named president of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors during the group's conference July 17.

The organization has members from around the world who share information and questions about publishing and editing weekly newspapers. ISWNE has a strong focus on editorial and opinion writing as well, a focus dating back to its founding in the 1950s.

Buffington and his wife, Alex, hosted the annual ISWNE conference in Atlanta in 2019 on the campus of Emory University. Due to the pandemic, the group didn't meet in 2020 and held a virtual conference in 2021.

Buffington is a past president of the National Newspaper Association and the Georgia Press Association. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia's Grady School of Journalism.

He was previously honored by ISWNE in 2015 with its Eugene Cervi Award for lifetime achievement and the Golden Quill Award for opinion writing in 2016.

Buffington also received the NNA's Amos Award in 2018 for leadership within the newspaper profession.

In 2007, he won the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Award "best in show" from among all media in the Southeast for a series of investigative stories about local corruption.

In 2010, Buffington was presented with both the Georgia Freedom of Information Award and the Georgia Press Association's David Hudson Open Government Award.

Buffington has authored two books, the most recent about the 1967 murder of Solicitor General Floyd Hoard, who was killed in Jackson County by a bootlegging gang.

He and his brother, Scott, serve as co-publishers of Mainstreet's five weekly newspapers — The Jackson Herald, The Braselton News, The Banks County News, The Madison County Journal and the Barrow News-Journal.

Both are second-generation newspaper publishers, having followed in their parents' footsteps in the newspaper business. The Buffington family moved to Jackson County in 1965 when parents Helen and Herman Buffington bought The Jackson Herald.

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