Editor’s Notebook: The mission, two years in


brian_clareyby Brian Clarey

For the first time in a long time I trust the first flush of spring.

It’s gotta be at least two years since I went out to the back patio for my morning smoke and believed in the warmth behind the early March chill. There was always an ice storm on the horizon, stormclouds looming, fast-moving cold fronts that came without warning.

But not today.

Not without coincidence, Triad City Beat marked two years over the weekend with an informal bar takeover that, at times, felt like the final episode of “Seinfeld”: Almost everybody who had anything to do with it made an appearance.

Time goes by fast when your job is a lifestyle, when your co-workers are your best friends, when you are undertaking a mission as opposed to merely building a business. There’s always been a lot more to our company than just taking money for advertising.

And yet things are moving along smartly. We’ve gotten more than a million hits on our website since then. We gained acceptance to a national organization of alternative news media, almost unheard of for a publication in its first year. We’ve built an internal machine to service the journalism we serve up, supporting the mission on another front. We’ve delivered more than a hundred issues, written more than 2,000 stories, made meaningful connections throughout our cities and, not the least of it, named a neighborhood.

So that’s where we gathered — LoFi — to welcome what comes next.

We’ve got big things in store for this next phase: new stuff and upgrades, and even more of the investigative work, enterprise journalism, breaking news and cultural mapmaking we know our readers love.

We love it, too.

We didn’t know if we were gonna make it this far, but we always knew we could. A friend in the newspaper biz told me a couple weeks ago that most media folks in the Triad didn’t give us six months. And then we laughed and laughed and laughed.

I’ve learned in these two years that a business education is pretty expensive, whether you get it in a fancy school or out here on the streets like me. And I’ve learned that there’s no real secret to this business we’ve chosen, no shortcuts or easy scams.

Like I did the first warm breath of spring, I trust the work and my staff — the best in the business. I trust the business community that keeps us afloat, and the thousands upon thousands of readers who choose to pick up our paper every week.

I trust the mission, and everything that goes along with it.