In the new news business, is there still reason to give thanks?


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It’s almost Thanksgiving, when columnists take the easy way out and list what they have to be thankful for. I’ll spare you. But it’s been fun hearing from readers, surprised to find me in Creative Loafing and wondering where I’ll turn up next. I’m thankful for that.

The news about newspapers is just about the same as the rest of the economy. Any meeting of journalists resembles a wake nowadays -- but not always.

Recently, I traveled to Cambridge, Mass., for the 70th anniversary of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. I got a chance to catch up with my former Observer colleague, Tommy Tomlinson, who is enjoying his academic year and his vacation from newsroom angst. My fellow Fellows from my 2005-2006 year there showed up in force for a mini-reunion of our own. (The guy from Albania won the prize for farthest distance traveled.)

They’re still practicing journalism, but in different ways. One of them, Charles Sennott was a foreign correspondent at the Boston Globe. In a complicated world where people need more not less information, newspapers are shutting down overseas bureaus to save money. Sennott is now executive editor of Global Post, a Web-based news organization that will provide daily coverage by its own correspondents around the world when it launches early next year.

It’s just one example of ventures trying to fill the news gap.

Thanks to an election season with North Carolina in the spotlight, I got to explore the online landscape. My work appeared on, The Root,, Black America Web, the Nieman Foundation and It’s a start. My friend and colleague Carlton Hargro, Creative Loafing’s editor, is encouraging me in my multi-platform adventures. He’s also providing the forum of CL as I make my way.

So Carlton, in keeping with the season, thank you.


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