This story is part of our 10-year-anniversary issue. To find all of the stories in the issue, go here.

We’re lucky to have had some of the best staff around. Here’s what a few of them had to say about working at Triad City Beat.

Eric Ginsburg

Working at Triad City Beat was the best job I ever had.

How could it not be when I spent a good portion of the gig shoving food into my face?

In the early years, I wrote weekly columns about food and booze (in addition to untold other responsibilities ranging from delivery driver to party planner). You could find me on the side of the road in east Greensboro, barbecue sauce smeared on my yellow notepad as I interviewed the Crazy Ribman. Or sitting at a high-top table in the back of Old Winston Social Club judging its annual Mac & Cheese Fest.

It was in these pages that I wrote about the opening of the Porch or when Krankies started serving food, documented the tidal wave of craft brewery openings, and indulged in all-you-can-eat sushi with our interns, one of whom is now the paper’s managing editor.

I delighted in so many parts of TCB, particularly the chance to explore nooks of my chosen home I might never otherwise see. I reveled in the freedom this paper offered to a young writer, allowing me to pursue whatever I deemed interesting and important, be it a now defunct Jamaican restaurant or an unaccountable police department.

That’s the beauty of a locally run and fiercely independent press. Looking back through its pages, you can see the first draft of history. I just hope that after a decade, people don’t take This Little Paper That Could for granted.

Jordan Green (photo by Anthony Crider)

Jordan Green

The memory that sticks out for me the most as a charter employee, part owner and senior editor at Triad City Beat is driving the delivery route every Wednesday during the early years of the operation. I stuck it out for far longer than was economically practical, and only reluctantly gave it up when Brian Clarey forced me to relinquish the route to a professional delivery driver. Delivering papers absorbed an entire day — one in a seven-day workweek. My route covered the entirety of High Point and the western flank of Greensboro, and at one point arced over to a couple branch libraries on the north side of the city and down to the Hayes-Taylor YMCA in the southeast.

Driving the delivery route was a grounding experience. It was also a chance to reset in a week that included enterprise reporting, possibly a city council meeting, some kind of cultural event or another, all culminating in an intense production sprint on Tuesday night. The route took me through hair salons, rec centers, pizzerias, health clinics, courthouses, public housing communities, galleries and coffee houses — all the places where people go about their daily lives. It was a humbling reminder of all the people we were writing for.

Counting the returns at each stop could be a painful lesson in how relevant our reporting was — or wasn’t, as the case may be. I might be despondent at the returns, but usually I felt a new glimmer of hope that this new issue was going to find an audience. The route usually included a 20-minute stop at a gym on the north side of High Point to post the new stories on Facebook and send them directly to readers based on interests in verticals such as police accountability, housing, food security and LGBTQ+ rights.

I listened to a lot of NPR on those delivery days, and I remember exactly where I was on a sweltering day in July 2016 when I realized that Donald Trump was going to win the presidential election — the alley behind the J.H. Adams Inn. The guest on NPR was commenting that Trump had built a new political coalition based on the old Reagan Democrats. I thought back to my time in the late 1990s working on house-building crews alongside bitter and resentful white men steeped in racism, misogyny and homophobia. I knew in my gut that Trump had a message

that could translate their hate into votes.

I made a Facebook post — something like, “Alert: A Trump presidency is in the realm of possibility.” By the time I checked the thread at a stoplight on Lexington Avenue, there was one comment: “Trump can’t win. One reason: polling.”

Journalism isn’t always glamorous, but it can be real.

Joanna Rutter

My first story for TCB as the wet-behind-the-ears intern was covering a midnight BLM protest in downtown Greensboro. I got my notebook and recorder out and interviewed people about why they were protesting and what they dreamed our world could look like without violence. Eight years later, I’m still doing work with people carrying a notebook and a phone, interviewing people about their values — just as a social worker instead of a journalist. The mentorship of the TCB crew definitely nudged me in this direction.
Local, deep-rooted, anti-white-supremacist, justice-oriented journalism is rare, because being told the truth through media is rare. If you’re reading this, you’re experiencing something special and worth preserving, worth growing, worth fortifying. Protect it.

Anthony Harrison

I count my time at Triad City Beat, serving both as an editorial intern and resident sports columnist, as two of the most exciting and fulfilling of my life so far. I grew not only as a writer, but as a person — into a better coworker, a better friend, a better man. Working with Brian, Sayaka, Jordan, Eric and others found me crafting each week to improve my art to meet the potential of my peers, and I still see TCB as the pinnacle of local journalism in the Triad.

Nicole Zelniker

As a first-year at Guilford College, I listened as Eric Ginsburg spoke to a group of students about the paper’s mission — to provide a platform for the voices for the Triad. Working for TCB several years later reinforced what I already knew: that this was a paper that cares deeply about the people it represents, and that TCB is a model of what local journalism can and should be.

Nikki Miller-Ka

I’ve had the privilege of witnessing TCB‘s journey from its beginnings to the present, feeling like I’ve grown alongside it. I always wanted to flex my culinary knowledge in print and TCB made that possible. Brian Clarey, whom I’ve long admired and considered a friend, played a pivotal role in championing and nurturing my food writing from my early freelancing days. Contributing regularly to the alternative weekly landscape felt like attending a journalistic finishing school. The gratification of seeing my work in both print and online, coupled with instant feedback, was immensely validating. Brian’s oft-quoted wisdom about the 10-year journey to overnight success rings true, and indeed, the proof is in the results.

Todd Turner

From the very moment that I met Brian, I was so inspired by his unwavering passion to always uncover the truth and spread the word to his community. I soon realized his immense talent for recognizing this same trait in so many that have worked with TCB over the years. Everything has always been so raw and honest and I’m so grateful for every opportunity I’ve had to photograph stories for this publication. Here’s to the next decade TCB!

Spencer K.M. Brown

As a young writer fresh out of college, joining the brilliant team at Triad City Beat taught me more about writing and culture than I’d ever known before. Working alongside such talented editors and writers as Brian Clarey, Jordan Green, and Eric Ginsburg was truly incredible. Triad City Beat’s mission and dedication to arts, culture and news across the Triad is inspiring. To be able to write about the place I’ve lived my whole life and share the beauty of its people is a joy I’ll carry with me forever. Thank you for letting me be a part of the team in those early years, and here’s to 10 more years of TCB!

Jorge Maturino

Wow, 10 years, congratulations! It was an honor contributing as the first Art Director to TCB. What great memories in a small office with (The Comedian) Brian Clarey, (The Food Guy) Eric Ginsburg and (The Investigator) Jordan Green. I not only grew as a designer but I had life lessons from these guys. With Jordan, I learned a lot of good grammar and how to pronounce words properly, such as “exactly”; somehow I alway left the “t” out. Through Eric I learned where the best places to eat were. And with Brian, how to act in front of authority figures. He has some extremely humorous stories of some, let’s say not so good decisions in his life that had me crying of laughter. I miss those days, thank you all for great times and pushing the limits as a journalist.

Joel Sronce

My internship at Triad City Beat began in those unsettled, anxious days between Trump’s election late in 2016, and his inauguration on January 20, 2017. I entered the trade very green, a tornado of political fervor and fury, hope and dread, hurling pitches, content and analysis around like a maniacal auger tearing up the red clay world around it. Eric, Jordan and Brian gathered the resulting debris off the newsroom walls, sat me down at the potter’s wheel of journalism, and began to show me how it’s done. A few months into the internship, I fulfilled a childhood dream and became a professional sports writer, also at TCB, and to this day leverage that position to pitch stories at the intersection of sports and politics. 

The Triad, and really all of North Carolina, are so, so fortunate that TCB rumbles on, guided by Brian’s determination, Sayaka’s courage, and the hard work of all those involved, agitating, reporting on the most urgent news in the most urgent ways. I owe the Beat a lot – considerable growth, companions to navigate and chronicle an intense political moment, and to be sure some amazing memories. I hope my deep gratitude is enough to repay it.

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