It’s true: This week’s issue of Triad City Beat will be the last with Jordan Green as senior editor. He’s moving on to cover right-wing extremism for Raw Story, and while he’ll stay on at TCB as an editorial advisor, helping train and mentor the next generation of new reporters, we all know it’s not the same thing.

Jordan and I have been working together every day since December 2004, when we were thrown together to build a newsroom for the first true alt-weekly the Triad had ever seen. We’ve been editing each other’s work, talking through tricky reporting problems, debating journalism ethics and sweating the details together for two-thirds of my professional life.

I would say that don’t know what I’m going to do without him, but actually I know exactly what I’m going to do without him. Seven years along, TCB has become bigger than any one voice or personality. And Green’s departure opens up so many possibilities for our future.

This week, Sayaka Matsuoka has finally fulfilled her destiny (according to me) by becoming TCB’s managing editor, a bear of a job that I know she will wrangle to suit her style. She started here as an intern our very first year, 2014; I am more proud of the reporter and editor she’s become than I am any of my own journalistic accomplishments.

Those keeping score will notice that this makes me the last man standing from our original crew that started the paper in 2014. That was always the plan.

I had my epiphany almost 10 years ago, shortly after I stopped drinking and right before I got fired: I decided to stay here, in the Triad, dedicate the next 20 years of my career to local news through the vehicle of alt-weekly journalism. I decided to become a lifer, to keep the home fire burning and get the torches lit.

I’ve learned that it can be more gratifying to help other people attain their goals than to reach your own. That’s kind of my thing these days.

And someone’s got to inspire and train the next generation of great Triad journalists. Might as well be me — so far I’ve got as pretty good track record.

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