Opinion Columns & Blogs

August 17, 2008

Even with the move, our standard of quality remains

Here's some news: We've moved.

Here's some news: We've moved.

For a long time, The Charlotte Observer's Raleigh bureau has been at 19 W. Hargett St., about a block southeast of the governor's office.

Last week, we moved across Salisbury Street and into the News & Observer building.

Both the Observer and the News & Observer are part of McClatchy Newspapers, and the news and sports departments are taking advantage of the opportunity to cut overhead and work together more closely.

Observer Editor Rick Thames will give you more details about the plans in a forthcoming column, but the short story is this: The Observer has a long history of first-rate writers in Raleigh, and that's going to continue.

For history buffs, it's worth noting that the Observer has had reporters in Raleigh for more than a century.

Former Associate Editor Jack Claiborne notes in his history of the Observer (“The Charlotte Observer: Its Time and Place, 1869-1986”) that the paper hired its first Raleigh correspondent in the 1870s. As the newspaper's fortunes waxed and waned over the years, there were times when the paper had no resident correspondent reporting from Raleigh.

Since the early 1950s, readers of the paper have seen the work of some of the best in the business. Among them were Ralph Howland, Jay Jenkins and Joe Doster in the 1950s and '60s, Howard Covington, Ned Cline and Susan Jetton in the 1970s, Steve Kelly and Tim Funk and John Drescher in the 1980s and Taylor Batten, Carol Leonnig and Greg Trevor in the 1990s. More recently, Anna Griffin and Sharif Durhams worked here before moving on to other newspapers. And Mark Johnson, David Ingram and Ken Tysiac have graced these pages with their work from Raleigh, and that will continue.

Let me brag on them a moment. Johnson is one of the best reporters I've ever seen at handling sources and worming out stories that someone doesn't want told. Ingram is a bulldog, and if you're a politician hoping to hide something, the last thing you want to see is his name and number on a call-back slip. Tysiac is a top-notch reporter with the innate curiosity and sense of fairness that mark the best in this business.

A couple of footnotes about Raleigh bureau alumni: The late Jay Jenkins, who worked in the Observer's Raleigh bureau in the 1950s, was an outstanding newspaperman who later became an aide to UNC President Bill Friday. His son, Jim Jenkins, is a graceful editorial writer and columnist at the News & Observer.

And John Drescher, who reported from the Observer's Raleigh bureau in the late 1980s and early '90s and later was an editor in the Observer's newsroom, is the News & Observer's editor.

If you have a question about what's going on in Raleigh, give us a holler. And in the meantime, keep reading. You'll be hearing from us.

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