• 79°

Goodbye to column writing

RALEIGH — Over the last five or six years, when strolling into the Legislative Building, I often have been hailed with the greeting, “Got a real job yet?”
The office of Rep. Winkie Wilkins, a Democrat from Person County, sits near the main entrance of the building, and my path to the press room there typically carries me by it. Wilkins, a former newspaper reporter and editor, could rarely resist the friendly jab.
I can’t blame him. He knew.
For the last 10 years, I have had the best job in journalism in North Carolina.
This is the last column that I will write for the Capitol Press Association. Later this month, I will be moving on to take a job with the North Carolina League of Municipalities.
Paul O’Connor, who wrote this column for 22 years prior to my taking over the position, will be back on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is named.

Saying that this is the best job in North Carolina journalism is not an exaggeration.
Besides writing the column, I have served as editor of The Insider state government news service over these last 10 years. In both roles, and for six years previously while working for the Associated Press, I have enjoyed a front-row seat to the best show in town, the craziness that is the North Carolina General Assembly.
During that time, I have watched some sad but historic happenings — a state House speaker indicted and sent to prison, another House member expelled from the chamber, a governor facing criminal charges.
More recently, I’ve seen Republicans take the full reins of power in Raleigh for the first time in a century and a protest movement arising from that power shift that grabbed the attention of the entire country.
All of that is serious stuff, but the world of covering the legislature and state government has never been all knitted eyebrows and stern countenances. There were late-night, punchy moments of levity (like the time I was gaveled down on the Senate floor while showing off a hand-held electronic video poker machine to then-Sen. Roy Cooper), the long-running annual press skits that poked fun at legislators and lobbyists, and snarky press room jokes.

But the great thing about this job was the column, being able to tell readers exactly how I saw the world of state politics, to throw out the occasional praise, but to more often call out “garbage” when I saw something as garbage.
It was a privilege and an honor to write, and much of what I had always aspired to do in journalism.
Hearing from readers, both those who agreed and did not agree with me, was one of the best parts of the job.
For the newspapers and editors who subscribed, I truly appreciate their support. Some of the positions that I took on issues surely did not jibe with their own editorial stances, but they understood the importance of the perspective.
Thanks for a wonderful ride.

Scott Mooneyham has been a columnist for Capitol Press Association.

Comments

Comments closed.

Business

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College unveils tenants, training partners at Advanced Technology Center

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man charged with drug, assault crimes

Local

City of Salisbury to resume normal operations, return to in-person council meetings

Local

Dreams of flight become reality at ASCEND summer camp

Local

Base salary for SPD officers increases to nearly $42,000 next week

News

‘He loved people:’ Larry Ford leaves behind legacy of legal achievement, community service

Local

Statewide pickleball tournament at Catawba College in September expected to draw hundreds of visitors

Local

Resources still available for those dealing with lingering impacts of pandemic

Education

Shoutouts: Misenheimer completes master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College

Education

State expands Principal of the Year to charter schools

High School

All-county baseball team: Norris Award winner Honeycutt made the most of a dozen games

Education

Partners in learning raises $3.2 million for new facility

Education

Tar Heel Boys State creates miniature government at Catawba College

News

NC medical marijuana legalization gets hearing in Senate

News

N. Carolina bill ending extra $300 benefits heads to Cooper

Coronavirus

New COVID-19 positives in Rowan at lowest point since start of pandemic

Education

Rowan Wild’s animal camp makes a comeback at Dan Nicholas Park

Coronavirus

Health officials say financial incentives helped vaccination rates; lottery drawing today

Granite Quarry

Granite Quarry adopts budget that keeps tax rate flat

Business

Airport Advisory committee endorses plans for expansion at Mid-Carolina Regional

China Grove

China Grove will celebrate 40th Farmers Day with week full of festivities

Sports

Pistons win in NBA draft lottery; Hornets will get 11th pick

Crime

Officers in Locust arrest drivers who tried to flee; one was on motorcycle reported stolen from Rowan

News

Panel OKs NC Senate budget bill; Dems pan policy provisions