Citizen Green: Seven weeks in — a reflection

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by Jordan Green

Jordan Green
Jordan Green

Thank you.

Those two words sum up my sentiments this week.

And with that I want to beg your indulgence to step out of format to address you, kind readers, directly.

My aim for Citizen Green is to apply rigorous, firsthand reporting each week to provide an informed opinion on a topic of relevance to people who live in all three cities of the Triad. If necessary, I’ll cite other reputable news organizations. Sometimes I’ll write about state government. Other times I’ll take a metro columnist approach and draw out a story from a particular community that lends some insight into our shared human condition as residents of a contradictory and conflicted region forced into painful reinvention with the faltering of the old industrial order. Maybe I’ll tweak the mission as I figure out my strengths and weaknesses, what matters most to readers, where gaps in coverage exist and where I can be of the most service. We’ll see as we go.

Today, on a quiet Sunday afternoon at the Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship in Greensboro, I don’t have a particular topic. I am slammed this week with a marathon run of shows at Phuzz Phest in Winston-Salem, with the final of three nights approaching in a couple hours (See cover story on page 16). And I’m blocking out time to write that story on Monday, and then hit a High Point City Council meeting later that evening, in addition to the flurry of editing, planning and production that typically eats up the first two days of the week at our small altweekly.

I also have been dealing with the untimely death of my aunt, who succumbed to a lightning-fast strain of stomach cancer on April 4. I don’t have a lot to say publicly about that because I’m still trying to make sense of it and work through my grief, but I’m grateful for the outpouring of condolences on Facebook. It is a great privilege to have a broader public that offers sympathy and understanding, beyond my smaller personal and familial circles. I’m also serving as groomsman at my cousin’s wedding in Illinois next month. So there are travel arrangements to make at the same time as I do my best to pull my weight as a member of the hardworking staff at this fledgling startup.

I’m blessed to have a beautiful and adventurous 8-month-old daughter who wows me with her constant wonder at her surroundings, intrepid crawling and climbing, and rapidly developing vocabulary — “da-da,” “mama” and “tickle-tickle” are her firsts. I can’t believe my wife’s infinite patience with my ridiculous work habits. I treasure the rare moments when I can hold my baby girl, and do my best to knock out a load of dishes now and then to contribute to the upkeep of our household in some small way.

I am grateful for each and every reader of this column. At my last gig, I hoped that people were reading my work, but the connection was abstract in many ways. Now, as an investor and employee, I understand that my livelihood and ability to support my family literally depends on whether people find it worthwhile to read my stuff. I know that goes for all three of us here in the editorial department at Triad City Beat.

We all understand that to succeed we need to not only uphold a contract with our readers to produce excellent journalism, but also diligently tend to the requirements of business (TCB, baby!).

I think about the Clark Campbell Transportation Center as an emblem of our progress in developing distribution. I set out a rack on March 26, and left 25 papers. When I returned on April 2, they were all gone so I upped the stack to 50. Imagine how thrilled I was when I stopped at the transportation center while walking from Krankies to catch the bo-stevens’ set at the Garage on Saturday and discovered that the stack of 50 was already gone — and it was barely halfway through the week.

As a part owner of a business, I have become more sensitive to the financial risks that entrepreneurs — whether they be gallery owners, rock and roll bands or real-estate developers — take to create new opportunities, amenities and value for our cities. In many ways, we need each other to progress as a region. I also understand that at some point we might have to report critically on any and all of these entities, and that we need to maintain a certain level of independence to preserve our credibility with readers.

So, thanks for reading. And thanks for allowing me to break from regularly scheduled programming to get personal.

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