Covering coronavirus: Coming to a great town at a terrible time

Ricky Young
Ricky Young

When I started my new job as news editor of the Chattanooga Times Free Press this week, I made it known on Twitter.

I got a lot of responses, from people who must have been very happy to see a tidbit about anything other than the global pandemic that is consuming all the airspace.

Perhaps my favorite response came from the city's former police chief, Fred Fletcher, retired in Colorado.

"You just landed at one of the greatest local papers and one of the greatest towns," he said. "Congrats."

On Day 5 of the job, I can tell you, it seems like he's right. I have experience at newspapers in Colorado, California, Memphis and Nashville. And all I knew of Chattanooga before starting this job was when I went on a field trip with my daughter to "See Rock City" more than 10 years ago.

It's already obvious to me that there's a lot more to Chattanooga. It's also obvious that this newsroom is well positioned and eager to serve this community during this most trying time, as it has for over 150 years.

I'm from California, where the informal motto of my town was, "Stay Classy, San Diego." And now I sign a lot of my emails the way I'll end this dispatch. Stay safe, Chattanooga.

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