Next Friday officially marks my first full year as managing editor of the Times-Journal.

I’ve been on staff here for two years, though —some of you may remember my short-lived career as sports editor. I was talking about that with current sports editor, Cody Dowler, yesterday at lunch. I loved covering sports in DeKalb County, but I knew once the opportunity presented itself to move back to the news desk, I had to take it.

I knew this office was what I had been working toward. But, it hadn’t always been like that. My first job at The Sand Mountain Reporter was as a staff writer. I liked working behind the scenes and churning out as many articles as I could. It’s always been about the writing for me. That’s why I chose this career, and it’s the part I love most.

At SMR I was lucky to work with some amazing writers and talented editors who helped me more than four years of college ever could. I saw what they were able to do to help me, and I wanted to eventually do the same for others.

I’ve learned that being a managing editor isn’t just about reading copy and assigning stories. I take a lot of phone calls throughout the day, answer seemingly hundreds of questions a day, but I still find time to do my favorite part, which is the writing.

The newsroom has changed a lot in the time I’ve been in this office. I’ve seen good writers come and go, but in my opinion, I’ve seen this paper and magazine grow stronger. I can’t attribute that to myself —I’ve been blessed with a great staff that genuinely cares about this community. Staff writer Kayla Beaty celebrated her first year at the TJ on Friday, too. She was the first and best hire I’ve made. She’s been a tremendous help and she’s definitely essential to this whole operation.

This past year has been fun, and at times overwhelming, but I’ve loved working alongside these people and with this community to create a product you can all be proud of.

I hope we’ve been able to do that.

There’s still a lot I would like to accomplish in my time here. The first year’s been fun, but I can’t wait to see where year two takes us.

Bradley Roberts is managing editor of the Times-Journal. Email:

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