_D5C5045brianby Brian Clarey

The issue of Triad City Beat you hold in your hands — if, that is, we can manage to find a few tauntauns to help us distribute the thing in the icy dystopia — marks No. 52 in the series, a full volume at one year.

And just typing those words makes me get up from the table and pace around the room.

It’s hard for me to believe we’ve made it this far. When you’re hunkered down on the beat, you don’t notice the time passing so much. Our first few weeks are a furious blur to me now, the frantic dispatching of a mountain of tasks to be done as fast as time and space allowed.

Then, like now, a late-winter ice storm brought the operation to a crawl.

So indulge me a moment while I commit to paper the enormity of what we’ve done.

In the beginning the editors of this paper made a decision to pursue excellence in journalism, to document the rise of the cities of the Triad, to cover without fear or favor the people and events that shape our communities.

It wasn’t just the right thing to do; it was the only thing to do. We threw in our savings, holed up in our office and with some vintage office furniture, late-model Macs and a cursory knowledge of WordPress, we made our stand.

One year in, and we are still standing. That, friends, is a sort of miracle.

I’ll say this: My byline has appeared in more than a dozen publications; I’ve assembled hundreds and hundreds of issues in my career. And I’ve never seen anything like the effort put forth by the team behind this newspaper. There’s something more going on here than just a startup media company. For those of us who work here, TCB is a lifestyle. I think it shows in the product.

Likewise, I’ve never been a part of a publication that had this kind of effect on people.

You stop me wherever I go to remark on stories we’ve broken or connections made through the pages of the paper. You engage on the website and social media. You help spread the word.

Our work would mean nothing without the people who read it. We’re grateful for each one of you. And we pledge to keep up our end of the deal for as long as our communities — our readers and advertisers — support us.

It’s a grind, sure. But it’s a lifestyle, too. And here at issue No. 52, we’re just getting started.

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