Jason Baker: Correcting the record on the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Project
Making (dollars and) sense of the downtown library renovation bond

Lisa Sorg: Farewell, BCR. It's been a great ride.

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.

 

 

Comments

Shelly

Best of luck to you, Lisa!

Ruby Sinreich

Congrats, Lisa! Thanks for all you've contributed to Durham.

Will Wilson

Congratulations your new position...it's critical in this time. I look forward to reading what you discover!

Michelle Gonzales-Green

Congrats darlin'!

Danielle White

Best of luck!

Kelly

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.

Kevin Davis

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!

Victor

Good luck Lisa. NC needs you. I'm glad you will still be working in the field.
Victor

Rann

Best wishes for your new job! It's been great reading your stuff!

Crprod

Thank you, Lisa!

Bro Ray

Thanks and good luck Lisa!

Ellen Reckhow

Best wishes Lisa!

Matt

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.

Todd Patton

Good luck, Lisa!

Steve Bocckino

We'll miss your intelligence, passion and great love for Durham. Good luck, Lisa.

Jeff Bakalchuck

I've enjoying your work here and look forward to seeing you work at NC Policy Watch.

Eddie Davis

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.

Cthulu '16

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.

Luke

Loved your writing on this blog! We've appreciated your contributions. Best wishes.

Brian Hawkins

Congratulations and best wishes, Lisa!

Keelee MacPhee

Good luck! Thank you for all your work, and congratulations on your new position.

Mark H

Aaaaah, is this the end of regular updates from BCR? No regular posts in a month.

M

Come back, BCR!

Cthulu '16

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...

Dukie02

Is there some sort of methadone available for blog news withdrawal?

joe

good riddance

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