First of all, full disclosure. Yes, yes, I am the girl who posed as a ravaged, bloody zombie on the cover of Creative Loafing's Best of Charlotte issue last year. Bet you didn't recognize me with my skin intact.
It's nice to meet you, too.
When I first moved to Charlotte, I expected to only be here a couple of years. Creative Loafing was hiring a part-time copy editor, and interim editor Matt Brunson (now senior editor) gave me a reason to leave Augusta, Ga., my hometown.
Seven years later, I guess you could say things are pretty serious between Charlotte and me. I even have a regular hair stylist, and you know how important that is.
At CL, I've worn many hats (some simultaneously), including copy editor, operations editor, style editor, online producer and, most recently, managing editor. Now, I've been given the privilege of donning the boss' hat as editor. (I imagine it to be a bad-ass black fedora.)
Over the years, I've worked with some inspiring people, one of those being former editor Carlton Hargro. Whether he wanted to or not, Carlton became my mentor. More importantly, he was the editor who took CL's website from a weekly afterthought to a thriving source for Charlotte news, culture and events, updated daily. He saw years ago that CL would need to transcend the newspaper format to remain relevant to its readers. He experimented with video and audio content and created a number of specialized blogs to appeal to a wide audience.
As editor, I plan to refocus that mission of taking over the digital world. Of course, we'll continue to cover arts and entertainment and tell great stories about the city, all while upholding a high standard of journalistic integrity. And we'll continue to drop the occasional F-bomb, like a proper alt-weekly should. But we'll do all of that knowing our brilliant writers are no longer bound to the two-dimensional personalities found in newsprint. Our readers consume information from a variety of mediums — print, social media, podcasts, videos, etc. — and we want to be a part of that conversation.
My predecessor Mark Kemp (a fantastic editor who taught me the power of the red pen) wrote in his parting column: "Charlotte is sometimes criticized for being a boring bank town that skews conservative. CL's role should be to explode that stereotype and serve readers and users who are not (or don't want to be) confined by it."
I couldn't agree more.
A former zombie model leading the editorial department of an award-winning alt-weekly. Talk about exploding stereotypes.