After more than 40 years in daily newspapers and 28 years at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, it’s time to go.
The decision doesn’t come easy. Writing for newspapers has been my goal since childhood and has been my calling all of my adult life. Leaving it is a bit like jumping into an abyss, but that’s also part of the point.
I want to thank the folks at the AJC for lending me this podium for all these years, even through those times -- as in the run-up to the Iraq War -- when what I had to say might not have been all that popular. I’m happy to say that I’m doing this while I still have a lot of rubber on my tires, so to speak, and I‘m eager to explore other styles and writing outlets that the demands of daily production have precluded. By their nature, columns and blogs are reactive mediums and I’m interested in seeing what I can do with more time and thinking space. Writers gotta write.
I’ve also never been one to walk away in the middle of a fight, but waiting until all this plays out would be foolish; it will never all play out. This is bigger than any one politician or movement, and the forces that brought us to this point in our history have been at work for a long time. They will be here for a long time to come.
But as we saw in the mid-terms, people are now paying attention. The country has been roused, the basic issues have been defined and from here we have to have faith that the system will work and the American people will reach the right conclusions. I see a lot of reasons for optimism, even if things get weird in the process, as I suspect they will.
My departure isn’t immediate. I’ll be taking next week off for the holiday, posting here if the news cycle requires, then return full-time for a couple more weeks. Thanks for reading all these years.
-- Jay Bookman