Lisa Sorg: Farewell, BCR. It's been a great ride.
July 17, 2016
On an overcast Saturday morning last August, Kevin Davis and I hunkered down at Ninth Street Bakery and hatched a plan. After a several years’ hiatus, he had recently restarted Bull City Rising, and, as a loyal reader of the blog, I was eager to chat with him about it.
And, personally, I was still stinging from a one-two punch: The Wednesday prior, I had been abruptly “let go” from the INDY after nine years, eight of them as editor. My husband had been diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer and was undergoing radiation, which would not save his life, but hopefully prolong it.
I had long considered BCR the INDY’s main competitor for Durham readers. BCR was smart, informed, analytical. Influential people read BCR. Kevin had great sources. He broke stories. Sometimes BCR beat the INDY. And I did not like getting beat.
What would Kevin think about my joining BCR? Perhaps he would be game. In 2010, we had successfully co-moderated a congressional candidate forum between incumbent Democrat David Price and B.J. Lawson a Republican with Libertarian leanings. (Successful meaning the questions were thoughtful, the room was packed, and the police did not have to intervene. Democracy was served.)
Fortunately, Kevin said yes. And over the next 11 months, he and I have worked together to again make BCR a go-to source for deeply reported, well-written news. In addition to the civic responsibility of election coverage, BCR often achieved what every respectable journalist wants: positive change.
Our reporting about the Durham Co-op allowed rank-and-file workers to have a seat on the board of directors, a right that had been in jeopardy under proposed by-laws. BCR called out the Durham Housing Authority when it misinformed Section 8 voucher holders about where they could live. Stories about Black Wall Street Plaza alerted people to the importance of preserving the city’s last piece of prime green space downtown. Consistent coverage of development and affordable housing kept the issue in front of the public.
Sometimes Kevin and I disagreed, and one of us would write a counterpoint. Exhibit A being the funding disparity between The Art of Cool and Moogfest. Each of us was glad to have the push-back; it made our respective reporting sharper. (Our approaches to news were different as well; we used to joke that Kevin is Google satellite view and I’m Google street view.)
And here we are, 11 months later, and I must leave BCR. On Monday, I start a new job as an environmental investigative reporter at NC Policy Watch, a state-wide journalism outlet that I’ve loved and respected for many years. My husband, thankfully, after several failed treatments, is responding to chemotherapy. He’s still alive and has a decent quality of life.
Writing for Kevin and BCR has been one of the most rewarding journalistic experiences of my career. I had creative license, the freedom to pursue any story, and the opportunity to continue reporting on the city that I love.
BCR will continue under Kevin’s leadership. I’ll be a loyal reader. I hope you will be, too.
Best of luck to you, Lisa!
Posted by: Shelly | July 17, 2016 at 08:52 AM
Congrats, Lisa! Thanks for all you've contributed to Durham.
Posted by: Ruby Sinreich | July 17, 2016 at 08:57 AM
Congratulations your new position...it's critical in this time. I look forward to reading what you discover!
Posted by: Will Wilson | July 17, 2016 at 08:58 AM
Posted by: Michelle Gonzales-Green | July 17, 2016 at 09:02 AM
Best of luck!
Posted by: Danielle White | July 17, 2016 at 09:03 AM
Good luck, Lisa. To you and your husband. You've done such a great job reporting important issues in Durham. I'll miss your contributions here but wish you well in your new gig.
Posted by: Kelly | July 17, 2016 at 09:25 AM
I wanted to take a moment to thank Lisa for the outstanding work she's done this past year at BCR. It was an honor and privilege to get to work with her. As much as I'll miss her contributions, I was so excited to hear about her new opportunity. Lisa is as passionate about environmental issues as she is the Bull City, and this is a great platform for her to have a statewide impact on a topic that matters.
Thanks, Lisa, for the great work and the kind words!
Posted by: Kevin Davis | July 17, 2016 at 11:28 AM
Good luck Lisa. NC needs you. I'm glad you will still be working in the field.
Posted by: Victor | July 17, 2016 at 02:02 PM
Best wishes for your new job! It's been great reading your stuff!
Posted by: Rann | July 17, 2016 at 02:08 PM
Thank you, Lisa!
Posted by: Crprod | July 17, 2016 at 02:42 PM
Thanks and good luck Lisa!
Posted by: Bro Ray | July 17, 2016 at 06:29 PM
Best wishes Lisa!
Posted by: Ellen Reckhow | July 17, 2016 at 07:54 PM
BCR is informative on events and fact, but does have an increncredible liberal bias when it comes to analyzing fact. Not surprising in this city. I'll continue to monitor the site, but folks should know it needs to be understood through its bias, like any media outlet.
Posted by: Matt | July 17, 2016 at 07:55 PM
Good luck, Lisa!
Posted by: Todd Patton | July 17, 2016 at 08:33 PM
We'll miss your intelligence, passion and great love for Durham. Good luck, Lisa.
Posted by: Steve Bocckino | July 17, 2016 at 09:57 PM
I've enjoying your work here and look forward to seeing you work at NC Policy Watch.
Posted by: Jeff Bakalchuck | July 17, 2016 at 10:55 PM
Lisa, I want to thank you and Kevin for the collaborative work that you have done at BCR over the past year. I look forward to the statewide journalism that you will offer. Also, I look forward to the great local reporting that will continue to be presented by Kevin and others at Bull City Rising.
Posted by: Eddie Davis | July 17, 2016 at 11:30 PM
Good luck, Lisa! It feels like you just got here and I will certainly miss your writing, but I wish you and your family all the best.
Posted by: Cthulu '16 | July 18, 2016 at 09:10 AM
Loved your writing on this blog! We've appreciated your contributions. Best wishes.
Posted by: Luke | July 18, 2016 at 10:39 AM
Congratulations and best wishes, Lisa!
Posted by: Brian Hawkins | July 18, 2016 at 12:17 PM
Good luck! Thank you for all your work, and congratulations on your new position.
Posted by: Keelee MacPhee | July 20, 2016 at 06:06 PM
Aaaaah, is this the end of regular updates from BCR? No regular posts in a month.
Posted by: Mark H | August 03, 2016 at 09:05 PM
Come back, BCR!
Posted by: M | August 25, 2016 at 07:54 AM
C'mon BCR, don't give up! Where are you?!
I'm having local news withdrawal symptoms due to your extended absence and the Indy just isn't cutting it! Please don't tell me that this is the beginning of another 5 year hiatus...
Posted by: Cthulu '16 | September 02, 2016 at 09:12 AM
Is there some sort of methadone available for blog news withdrawal?
Posted by: Dukie02 | September 02, 2016 at 11:32 AM
Posted by: joe | November 04, 2016 at 09:54 AM