Posted: October 21, 2010 in Meta

There’s a real chance I’m an idiot.

Two days after I last posted here, I took a leap. I resigned from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette to move to Pittsburgh and freelance. My last day was Oct. 15 — coincidentally, my birthday.

That’s right. I gave up a secure job with steady paychecks and institutional heft and support to go try something on my own. Something far less certain.

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It’s not a move I make cold. I’ve been networking in Pittsburgh for a while now. I know a few people and they know a few more.

This is a plan that can work. I think.

The focus of this site will change a bit as I write about different things as I get assignments and make pitches — less law-enforcement, I would imagine — and try to make a real go of this. I’ve already set up one other site as well, called Eatsburgh. Those of you who know me know how much I like food, whether eating or cooking or finding ingredients or nice little spots.

All right, then. Here we go.

My goodbye email to my colleagues:

So, 1,243 days and something like 440,000 words after beginning as an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporter, I move on to the next thing.

I got everything I wanted when I was first hired as a night cops reporter, working Tuesday through Saturday. Consistency, discipline, an old-school newsroom, a place that still thought of itself as a newspaper first, people around me I could learn from and an opportunity to challenge myself and get better.

I think I have.

I hope I have. No getting around the reporter’s latent insecurity.

Because people in this building responded well to my work, I got a day shift and normal-people days off. They rather generously let me write an average of about 2,500 words a week in their newspaper — about bad cops, good cops, bad guys, state police Taser use, the struggles of Baring Cross. One story helped add two men killed in 1887 to state and national law-enforcement officers’ memorials. Another meant a police officer diagnosed with PTSD got proper benefits after having been denied them.

There was even one story about kitten fetuses. I mean, really.

A special note of thanks to my editor, Jack Mitchell, who perhaps more often than he should have let me go down my own road to get a story.

Somewhere north of 15 percent of the articles I wrote or contributed to ran on Page One. And people all around this state read those stories — really read them. No mean thing, that.

OK. No more math.

The next thing for me is Pittsburgh, my wife’s ancestral homeland. Look me up — j.q.sanders@gmail.com — and buy me a drink I may not be able to afford on my own should you ever find yourself nearby.

Then I’ll even let you tell me what a Yankee I am. (Though not a Yankees fan. They’re evil.)

All best,


  1. I have a post up now, written by an ex-neighbor, who attended game 3 of hte Yankees vs Pirates in 1960 — an interesting account of how different it was to go to a ballgame in those days.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AmyJo Brown, Jacob Quinn Sanders.. Jacob Quinn Sanders. said: Couple new posts on the old site — http://is.gd/gbAsb — and the new, Eatsburgh: http://eatsburgh.wordpress.com/ […]

  3. I have to admit. I’m SO jealous you got a goodbye poster cartoon. I never got one 😦 Let’s hope that isn’t because they didn’t love me.

  4. Jennie says:

    I’m pretty sure you made the right choice 🙂 Happy belated birthday, btw. See you soon.

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