Up Front: March 2008

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In a piece he recently wrote for The Washington Post, David Simon — the former cops reporter who is the creative force behind what many consider the best-written show on television — recalls what it was like as one of the “starry-eyed acolytes of a glorious new church, all of us secular and cynical and dedicated to the notion that though we would still be stained with ink, we were no longer quite wretches[.]”

The time was the late ’70s, post-Pentagon Papers, post-Watergate. “When I was in J-school,” Simon says, “the argument was that the siren-chasing would be ceded to television, but newspapers, to thrive, would become magazines — thoughtful, stylish, comprehensive. And magazines? To compete with newspapers they were going to be recruiting literary and investigative giants.”

Though I’m older than Simon, I, too, was a true believer. Fortunately, I left newspapers, where I had made a living since my teens, a decade before he did, departing long before market forces and technology combined to grind the dream into debris. So I don’t feel betrayed and bitter the way he does, as evidenced by the portrayal this season of The Baltimore Sun, where he had worked a dozen years, on HBO’s The Wire. It was not buyouts or cutbacks or corporate greed that made me bid adieu to daily deadlines; it was the opportunity to try my hand at that “thoughtful, stylish, comprehensive” work he mentions.

And that, for the 21 years I’ve been this magazine’s editor, is what Business North Carolina has strived to make its specialty — the in-depth profile, the long-form article, the story that takes thousands of words after maybe months of reporting to tell. That our staff has had some success at this, the loyalty of our readers, not to mention scores of awards that cover the walls of our conference room, can attest. But a magazine must be more than the contents of its feature well. Even the short stuff carries great weight.

That’s why we have expanded the space devoted to our Regional Report, which since its introduction in 2000 has proved to be one of the magazine’s most popular sections, providing readers, no matter where they live, a chance to keep up with business news in other parts of the state. In addition to more news briefs, you’ll find our staff’s take on trends and events that are shaping each region. Of course, those who don’t want to wait until your copy of BNC arrives each month can log on to our Web site’s Daily Digest at BusinessNC.com.

The big story that paints a vivid portrait of North Carolina will always be at the heart of this magazine. But sometimes the best way to see the big picture is through a multitude of snapshots. You’ll get both with BNC.

 








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