I made the decision about 10 years ago: I would stay here, in the Triad, and dedicate the rest of my career to local news. I stopped looking for gigs outside this market, stopped pitching longform freelance pieces to the magazine market, stopped pretending I could do anything else with my career outside the news business.
Why, you ask, would I do such a thing?
Because I believe reporting can save the world. And I go where I’m needed.
It’s true that reporting can save the world — that’s why freedom of the press is the very first amendment in our Bill of Rights. Journalism, done ethically and responsibly, literally heightens a reader’s awareness. As for undermining despots and combatting injustice: The facts, written down and disseminated, make a more potent weapon than any firearm.
I believe this.
And I go where I’m needed. It’s why I left New York, where there are thousands of guys like me. I came to realize it was why I settled here, in Greensboro, where the mediascape in 2000 was a dreary and provincial visage: no altweekly, no independent media, not even a monthly city magazine.
I found out very quickly that I could make a real difference here, as opposed to pitching my stories into the great maw of freelance work and moving on like a hired gun.
More: Local news is the best news. It’s the most underserved — there are more print reporters covering the White House than there are at the Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point newspapers combined. Local news affects your life a lot more than anything you will see on the “Today” show.
And like a lot of things that are important to the functioning of society, there’s no money in it.
Triad City Beat is a free paper and it always will be. And we are able to do a lot with the small bit of advertising we are able to sell. But it’s never enough.
And so we created the First Amendment Society, a way for readers to donate to our enterprise, help keep our journalists paid and help keep the news free for those who don’t have a few extra dollars to send our way.
You’ll be seeing and hearing more about it in our pages, on our site, in our emails and on our social media properties. But for now it’s enough to say that the FAS is for people who believe in the power of reporting, like me.
Join the First Amendment Society, a membership that goes directly to funding TCB‘s newsroom.
We believe that reporting can save the world.
The TCB First Amendment Society recognizes the vital role of a free, unfettered press with a bundling of local experiences designed to build community, and unique engagements with our newsroom that will help you understand, and shape, local journalism’s critical role in uplifting the people in our cities.
All revenue goes directly into the newsroom as reporters’ salaries and freelance commissions.