The Zip episode 8
Raleigh & Company is truly a hybrid. It’s a media outlet, but it’s also a blog. Considered a “playground” by its contributors, Raleigh & Company writers dive into the kind of local stories that you wouldn’t read in a traditional newspaper – like, where does the giant American flag go when it’s NOT in the center of a football field? But the publication also covers more serious issues, such as a local college student who went public with the story of her sexual assault, after the police told her assailant “not to sweat it.” But even in this more serious piece, you can feel the presence of a journalist much more than you would in a traditional news piece, and that’s what sets Raleigh & Company apart.
In today’s episode of The Zip, Megan Hannay interviews Shawn Krest, who has been the managing editor of the Raleigh & Company website since last July, when it was acquired by Capitol Broadcasting.
Megan: Well thank you so much for participating in this interview. I am really excited to talk to you. Like I mentioned, I’ve spoken to a few other local journalists and the more of you I talk to, the more of you I want to talk to. The Zip is a podcast, not just on local journalism, but on all things local from companies who are trying to do local marketing to local nonprofits and also I realized that talking to journalists is great because you guys have a big perspective on the idea of local and the idea of community. So, that being said, do you have any questions before I jump in?
Shawn: I don’t think so. Hopefully I don’t spoil you on wanting to talk to journalists.
Megan: No. I don’t think you will. Okay, so. Today I am speaking with Shawn Crest, managing editor of Raleigh and Company, which is a web-based media outlet focusing on local topics such as ACC sports but also on national topics such as “Is Hillary Clinton really the most qualified person to run for president?” Shawn has been managing the Raleigh and Company publication since last July when it was acquired by Capital Broadcasting and he is also the managing editor of The Point email newsletter and ThePoint.com. Hi, Shawn.
Shawn: Hi. Thanks for having me.
Megan: Thank you for being here. So, first question I have to ask. Your Twitter bio describes you as “Talented…for a local writer.” Who even said that? And what exactly did they mean?
Shawn: A former boss of mine actually said that when he took over for the publication I was writing for at the time. He said “I’m happy to be writing with such talented local writers as:” and he just listed all of our names. It just seems like such a backhanded compliment, so I said “I think that has to be my bio”
Megan: Do you think he meant it as a backhanded compliment? Do you think he meant “Oh, you’re good…for a local writer?” I guess bigger picture, do you think there’s a distinction between people who cover the nation and people who cover neighborhoods?
Shawn: Especially having covered sports, you can see a difference in the way that they’re treated. If you’re covering and NFL team or even a local college team, the local people are the ones that are there every day. They’re talking to them every day. They’re at practices, they’re at every outlet and then when the national writer comes to town, it’s like a celebrity’s here. So I don’t know that there’s any difference in quality, I do know that there is a difference in the way they’re perceived by a lot of people including the people that help us to do our jobs. So there’s always a kind of undercurrent among the local people when the national people show up.
Megan: Interesting. So, obviously the purpose of this podcast, and our main theme, is local so, here, you are the celebrity. On that, how would you say that the brain of a local journalist works and is it different from the brain of a national journalist or just a non-journalist type of person? What do you guys see that other people don’t see in the local community?
Shawn: Well, speaking only for myself, I feel like my brain is not any different. It’s that I take the next step and then try to find out. I think everybody has natural questions when they see something. “Oh I wonder how that works, I wonder what the backstory is there.” It’s just that I have the ability to look into it and find out why that is. One of my favorite stories that I did for Raleigh and Company, if you’ve ever been to a football game when they have military day and they have the giant flag that covers the entire field, and so I think everybody who has ever seen that has said “well I wonder where they keep that? I how they fold that up.” So after I went to one of those games, I started thinking about “well, where would you store that thing?” So I called one of the local teams and asked them and it turns out that they don’t store it, they rent it. So, again, the natural question was how much would you pay to rent a flag like that? And it turns out that they don’t actually store them anywhere. It comes in pieces and you have to assemble them before the game. So I said “well I have to see that happen.” Again, I feel like everybody has had those questions run through their mind, my brain isn’t working any differently, I just have that extra lightbulb goes off and says “hey, I can answer that question. I can find out.” So, I feel like that’s the only difference, really, between a journalist and everyone else is we pick up the phone and have people treat us seriously when we ask those questions.
Megan: Just out of curiosity for that particular story, is that a violation of some sort of constitutional- I thought the flag was supposed to be treated in this very special manner. Would our founding fathers be aghast at the fact that we’re like velcroing the flag together? Did anyone wonder about that?
Shawn: They did. There was a loophole actually. It’s military day when they use these flags so they have soldiers putting them together. So, in order to get the ones in the middle of the flag in the middle of field, you have to walk on the flag to get there. There were soldiers that said “I’m not going to do that. This is the flag, I’m not going to walk on it.” But, if you look at the other side of the flag, it’s only a one-sided thing. The piece that has the stars on it, the stars are only on one side. Technically, the definition of a flag is that it looks the same on both sides. So, their loophole is that it isn’t really a flag, it just looks like a flag so we don’t have to follow the rules.
Megan: That’s crazy. Whoever thought of that, kudos to them because they solved a big problem. Eventually they’ll probably just hologram the flag and not even have to worry about it anymore.
Shawn: And then I’ll have a whole series of questions about that too.
Megan: Yeah. Like will they have a drone overhead just for the projector or something? So, did you write that for Raleigh and Company or did you write that for a different publication?
Shawn: That was for Raleigh and Company. That was back when I was just a writer for Raleigh and Company before I took over as editor.
Megan: So, as far as Raleigh and Company, can you fill me in a bit more on the history of that publication and your personal journey, how you went from just being a writing to the managing editor?
Shawn: Sure. It was started probably about three years ago now by a local writer named Jordan Rogers and he covered sports for the most part, he did a bunch of things but primarily sports, and so most of the people he knew were sports writers as well including me. And, I know you talk about branding of journalists on your podcast. This is kind of, the opposite of branding or anti-branding. The idea behind Raleigh and Company was this is what we do all day long. We have stuff that we have to write about. You have to cover the high school football game this weekend, you have to cover this practice. Things like that. Most of us got into writing because we loved it. We loved telling the stories and we had this passion and we don’t get to follow that passion. So his idea behind Raleigh and Company was “you write about stuff you have to all day, this is an outlet for things that you want to write about. This is where you can follow your passion and kind of break form. You know, if you’re a sports writer you can do movie reviews or you can do short fiction.” When I started with Raleigh and Company, I was writing short fiction because there was no place else that I can do that other than for myself. And then it’s just if you find some idea that your regular outlet won’t let you pursue, Raleigh and Company was the place to do that. I remember one time I was driving and there was this yellow line down the lane- like the yellow lines used to distinguish lanes- but there was just this thin yellow line running down the middle of my lane and it was clear that whatever truck was doing the lines, as they were driving back to their base, so it was leaking the entire way home and, so, I’m like “well I have to follow this.” So that was my story. I followed this yellow line and, of course, they would stop at a red light and there was a big pile of yellow paint there because the truck was just sitting there and then you finally get to the point where they discover what had happened. I just told the story that I found the guys that had been driving the truck and this is what happened and just that feeling when they realized that they’d been driving for 12 miles leaking paint and that everyone that drove on that road will see their mistake. Just, you know, how they felt about it. A newspaper’s not going to publish that, but Raleigh and Company was the place. It’s great story, it just doesn’t have a home so Raleigh and Company was the place to give those types of stories a home.
Megan: So, Raleigh and Company, in a way, is like where the mainstream journalists go to let loose a little bit and just loosen your tie and write about the stuff that you want to write about.
Shawn: Exactly. You joked- when you asked me about this podcast, you joked about watching old Netflix shows. That’s what we do in our spare time and we’re writers so we’re going to write about it. It’s just things like that. Music, TV shows, movies. Anything that’s your passion this is the place where you can write about it and get back to why you wanted to do this in the first place because, like anything else, it becomes a job. It’s a great job, but this is the chance to get your creative juices flowing again and so I think a lot of the writers have responded to that and that’s why we’re able to get so many contributors. For a long time, we didn’t pay anything until Capital took us over and we still just had an army of writers who wanted to do this just because it’s the only place really where you can.
Megan: So, you obviously have a lot of interest from writers. What kind of audience have you found? Your readers. Who’s rallying around Raleigh and Company that’s like “this stuff is awesome, these are the local stories that we don’t get to hear” because you do have to hear about the school board meeting- which is important- but these are the daily anecdotes that, like you said, the rest of us don’t have time to follow the random yellow line and you do. So, who are the people that are eagerly digesting what you’re putting out?
Shawn: The people at Capital like to joke at meetings that it’s people just like us. We write for ourselves and people like us. But, no. I feel like anybody that enjoys a good story will follow Raleigh and Company. And that’s what we’ve seen. It’s a lot of- most of the traffic comes from our personal social media accounts. Where it’s people that follow us who like our writing, like our personalities, like our personalities online and so they’ll follow us to this area where we’re just kind of playing around. So I feel like that’s- they tease us by saying you’re writing for yourselves, but that’s kind of what it is. We’re writing for ourselves and people like us. People that just enjoy the craft of writing and enjoy a good story, whatever it’s about.
Megan: In an interesting way that’s-you said you do a lot of fiction writing and I think when you’re talking about art forms they always say “create the art that you would want to consume.” If you’re going to write a novel, write the kind of novel that you’d want to read. In an interesting way you guys are taking what I would say the job of journalist is maybe less artistic-somewhat artistic- but you’re kind of bringing out the art side and you’re saying “well this is the stuff that we want to do, this is just the stuff that is fun for us.”
Shawn: Yeah. It’s kind of rebellious. So much about journalism now is about the clicks and the traffic and “you gotta write this because that’s what people click on.” This was kind of a throwback to “no, I’m going to write about what I want to do, I’m going to follow my passion. This is what I like, this is what I want to read.” It’s long form stuff. It’s stuff that, you know, all the professionals don’t think that people want to read and we’ll assume that there are enough people out there like us that they’ll do it. So, again. It’s kind of anti-branding, anti-the modern marketing strategy. We’re just kind of throwing things back and so far it’s worked. It’s not getting the same types of clicks as DeadSpin is or something like that but there’s definitely a large, loyal audience that’s hungry for that type of stuff.
Megan: Right, so reading your pieces in particular like the one about Hillary Clinton where you gave presidential candidates points for how qualified they are and determined that, I think, she was 28th most qualified or something like that. You took a quote from Obama and made it into like “okay, literally if we’re going to break this down, is she the most qualified person ever?” which I enjoyed. But also, I read a piece about a NASCAR ride along where you even quote your own sister and how much she doesn’t believe that you’re going to be okay with actually getting in the car. So I feel like a lot of your pieces have sort of a personal essay style about them and is that just your style or is that something that you encourage in Raleigh and Company. And, in that way, it kind of seems more like you guys are crossing-you’re like journalists, but it also seems very much like a blog type of style as well. Do you differentiate between that or think about that?
Shawn: We don’t differentiate between it. That is kind of on purpose. Not necessarily something that we’re dictating at Raleigh and Company but that’s just- you know, if you’re writing for your passion, you’re going to come out in it. You’re going to be part of the story. So again, breaking all the rules of modern journalism where we’re putting ourselves in the story. It is very blog like. I try to convince the readers not go off on opinion pieces and things like that. I want them to be telling stories. A lot of times blogs will evolve into “here’s what I think about things, here’s what annoys me” and so we try to get away from that and just concentrate on the storytelling, but if you want to put yourself in that story, then yeah. Some of our best pieces have been like that. We’ve had pieces where writers really open up and talk about personal issues they’re dealing with, you know, addictions and things like that. I think when Raleigh and Company is really at its best, you see the writer bleeding on the keyboard as they’re writing.
Megan: I enjoyed reading. I guess my big picture question for that- because as I mentioned I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and writing and speaking to local journalists- in particular is that there’s a lot of really cool and interesting things that we’re able to do now. That publications are able to move from the digital space. It does make me wonder. Is there a concern at all about the line between strict journalism and blog-type journalism Is that something- maybe not for Raleigh and Company in particular- but for just big picture, is that something that you see in the future kind of blending or do you just, like you said, see this as a fun space where you can be more like a blog because those rules still need to be in place for more traditional publications?
Shawn: I think in the big picture it’s been blending for several years now. I think most journalists’ twitter feeds is an example of that blend. They’re putting themselves into their twitter feeds and as their stories are becoming more twitter like- and I think you’re seeing them show up as characters in their stories more often then you used to I think. I think social media is part of the reason for that. People get to know a writer through twitter. They get to sit there with the writer covering whatever event he or she is covering. They get to know them. As a result of that, the process has become part of the end product throughout. From blogs all the way up to mainstream stuff. I think you’re seeing that more in mainstream stuff where writers are characters in their own stories and I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing as long as the story’s being told, as long as the information is there. There should be a variety of ways to get that information out, so I don’t really have a problem with it from that standpoint.
Megan: Cool. That makes sense and it’s true. It’s something I enjoy about following writers on twitter. Just because not only will they sometimes talk about their stories, but they’ll also let go of opinions that they probably wouldn’t have-political opinions or just other kinds of opinions that wouldn’t be traditionally appropriate for a regular newspaper pieces. But, as far as the Raleigh and Company writers. I know you said that most of them are journalists that work for other publications. Is that pretty much all of them or are there some that have jobs completely unrelated to journalism? On top of that, how- you said that you somewhat pay your writers- is this something that you’re hoping in the future you can continue to bring on a staff and help people make big bucks as a local journalist in this style?
Shawn: Well, for your first question. We started off-again it was basically friends of Jordan when we started off, friends of the founder. So we were all journalists but as time has gone by people that read it and have an appreciation for that type of storytelling decide that they want to try it so we do get a lot of first time writers. A lot of people that have a day job that has nothing to do with writing, but they- you know. Something about our writing made them think “hey, I can do this.” And maybe it’s that personal nature. They’re like “hey, I’ve got a blog, I can do this” or like “I’ve always wanted to have a blog and I can do this.” So we do get a lot of first time writers and things like that. I would say the bulk of it is still- there’s kind of a core group that’s been there from the beginning just because they believe in this model so much, but then were joined, maybe for awhile and maybe for an ongoing basis by first time writers or people that discover us along the way. So that’s an answer to your first question. The second question was…
Megan: Yeah. I guess basically as far as your funding and do you plan on bringing on- do you plan on growing into a publication that has full time staff?
Shawn: Right now we’re still- we’re with Capital Broadcasting, they acquired us. They hired Jordan and acquired us and brought me on to manage it on a day to day basis. With that came a budget for freelancers, so we are able to pay them. Not a lot. I tell new writers that you’re not going to retire on it, you might get beer money from it but you’re not going to retire on it. It’s not- most people understand that they’re not here for the money, they’re here for the opportunity to tell these stories that otherwise would have stayed buried. So hopefully as we progress in our relationship with Capital, hopefully they like what they’re doing, I think they do, so the budget will grow allowing us to either publish more stuff or to reward the writers more handsomely than we do now. I don’t know if we’ll have a full time staff of writers. Because, again, the more we do that the more it becomes like a job. The more it becomes something you have to do. So, I would fight that, not because I’m cheap, not because I want to control our budget money, but just because Raleigh and Company is going change from what it was and I do feel strongly about preserving that idea. That this is a community. That this is an area where we can follow our passion. I think think money always seems to screw that up.
Megan: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So as far as just even the future of Raleigh and Company as- maybe not necessarily financially, but as a part of what I’m seeing as just a trend of local journalism publications sprouting up kind of just everywhere. Some are just online, some in print as well. How do you see Raleigh and Company fitting in as part of a new trend of local journalism?
Shawn: I think as more things pop up, they’re kind of focused. They have a certain- either “I want to cover this particular subject” or “I’m going to cover things this particular way.” So what you’ve got is in the old days there was a newspaper and they did everything. They had columnists, they had schoolboard writers, they had sports departments, they had the local section and now what you’re seeing is individual publications pop up to do one of those things. I see Raleigh and Company in that model as being the columnists. Where we go in and either tell as story that isn’t really news or we tell as story with a slant towards a certain opinion so that’s the role that we would have would be as the old newspaper columnists. One of my favorite columnists, I don’t remember who it was- he wrote for a paper in Iowa, and his weekly column was he would just call somebody at random in the phonebook because everybody has a story. And so, he would just call them and talk to them until he figured out what interesting story they had and that would be his column for the week would be to tell this person’s story. I feel like that’s the definition of Raleigh and Company. If we could just do that. If we could find random people in a Walmart parking lot or whatever it is and tell their story. That’s what we’re doing. That would be my long range goal for Raleigh and Company where we’re just out there telling people’s stories because everybody has a story. I do that- when we cover Panthers games that’s what I do. Because just about every NFL game somebody new has been signed by one of the teams or they’ve been a rookie- been on the bench all year and because of an injury gets to play. So if somebody gets into his first NFL game when I’m there, I interview him afterwards and tell his life story. I did that with three or four different players now and it’s always completely different than what you would expect and NFL to be and it might the only story that’s ever written about him in his NFL career. You know, he was stocking shelves last week while working out for teams. In two weeks, when whoever’s hurt comes back, he’s probably going to be released, but he’s gonna get at least one story written about him while I’m at the game. So I feel like those are some of the stories where we’re doing what I think Jordan and the rest of our vision was when Raleigh and Company was first founded.
Megan: Yeah, that’s really cool and I think it- because we hear a lot about how newsrooms aren’t what they used to be. How newspapers-traditional newspapers are getting thinner and thinner, but the way that Raleigh and Company and I think some other publications like yours- or maybe not even publications. When you’re talking about telling individual people’s stories it makes me think of Humans of New York, which is just a guy walking around with a camera finding- kind of like the guy in Iowa- finding stories of just random people and being like “what are you up to? what inspires you?” So do you see the shifts that are taking place in your industry as a positive thing because it’s allowing room for Raleigh and Company whereas before it may not have seemed relevant or I don’t know. Maybe because newspapers were so big it was “well why go outside of it?” Whereas now that things are changing there is room for creativity.
Shawn: I mean, yeah. There are positives and negatives. The positive is that more people get to have their voices heard. If it had been the old model, I probably would have never become a journalist. I started off as a banker and because I always wanted to write, but there was never anybody that hired me, but there were so many different outlets online when I first got into this that I was able to get my clips, get a chance to get exposure and make a name for myself. Whereas if it was just the big newspaper and the big three local network news stations, I wouldn’t have had that chance. So I think from that standpoint it’s a good thing, but then as the big boys are breaking up, as newspapers have to cut back and things like that there are a lot of people that are then losing their jobs because of that. A lot of friends of mine are – it seems like constantly there’s a friend of mine who’s getting laid off or who’s position got eliminated. Things like that. So I guess, with any industry, as things change, it opens up opportunity for people with a certain set of skills and other people have to retrain or find a new place to work. But yeah. I always kind of have mixed feelings when I see the way that journalism is changing.
Megan: Yeah. So these friends, do they- are they going to completely change fields and become- maybe they want to become bankers now or are they looking for positions in publications- you know are they trying to write to publications like Raleigh and Company and find away to go freelance?
Shawn: Yeah, I mean there’s a lot of freelance- There’s a lot of former full time people that are now working freelance and it’s possible- I mean you can be a full time freelancer. I did that for a long time where I just had different jobs that I cobbled together and made living.
Megan: That’s exhausting.
Shawn: It’s exhausting. You’re running a business because you have to run collections, you have to run marketing, you gotta do everything. So that’s part of it. But even if you haven’t lost your job, you’re constantly evolving. People that just wrote just a couple years ago are now shooting video as well because there’s so many pieces now that weren’t part of it before. I could talk about something that happened at a basketball game on twitter just a couple years ago and make my point. Well now, if there isn’t pictures, if there’s not video then it didn’t happen. Multimedia is now a part of my job as well. So that’s- people are constantly getting retrained with things like that. How to upload the video, how to do all this stuff because even the newspapers now have videos and podcasts and things like that so that’s being added to your job even if you’re the oldest school reporter.
Megan: Right. That’s a lot. That’s a big ask. So in speaking of just the evolution of the industry in general, one topic I’ve written about and spoken about on this podcast is how closely modern media outlets are working with brands. So just beyond- I know that Raleigh and Company has banner adds, have you considered using sponsored content? If a national brand like Nike came to you and was like “you know, you guys know Raleigh. You know how to- I saw that you guys recently did a piece on the best running trails in Raleigh, would you do another piece similar to that that was sponsored by Nike?” How would you feel about that?
Shawn: It would be- the big concern I would have would be it has to be honest. It has to be-this was a concern we had when Capital took us over- was that we can’t be corporate. The writer’s don’t want it to be like that and the readers will be able to sense if it’s not real. If we’re just doing it for the paycheck, the readers are going to sense that because that passion is one of the things that attracts them to us. But I wouldn’t rule it out. I feel like, yeah absolutely. If you want to sponsor what we’re doing, but a lot of times with sponsorship comes control. The more you’re trying to control what we’re doing, the more we’re going to lash back. I mean, we had some very honest meetings with Capital and they’ve been great. The time that I’ve been with Capital and Raleigh and Company, they’ve been great because we said at that first meeting, “we use the ‘F’ word in our stories and we’re not going to stop” and they “we’re fine with that. Just tell the story. We want you to pretend that we didn’t take you over when you’re writing.” And I passed that message along to the writers and they’ve been great about that. Because I think that the first time that they wanted us to look more like the local news, everything would have come crashing down. Because the model’s not going to work if you want us to be like that. The idea is that we have to be able to- this is our playground. We have to be able to play and if you’re going to turn it into little league where there are rules and everybody has to have uniforms and you have to pay to sign up, then a lot of people aren’t going to be interested in that anymore. So I feel like we’ve already gone through that once with Capital and it worked out great there and so if we get the right partner then I wouldn’t have a problem at all with it as long as the partner understands this is who we are and what we do and there’s going to be a revolt if we try to change that.
Megan: Right. And I think that’s a great lesson too for brands. Because from my perspective as a marketer, I love encouraging brands to find local journalists because it’s so much better for their perspective, for their website if they have content about Raleigh that is written by someone who really knows Raleigh, as opposed to having someone at their national headquarters just doing, you know, wikipedia research or online research. Having a perspective that’s very close with the audience you’re trying to reach is obviously a huge advantage. I think that is something that a lot of companies will have to look into themselves and learn to overcome is this want- like “no this our brand, we have to be able to control it” but it’s kind of not in a way. It’s like “no, you’re just kind of putting-you’re helping support something” You know, the whole point of journalism is that there’s not someone, like an overlord, looking over and saying “wait, did you say that? we didn’t really want you to say that.” Or at least American first amendment kind of journalism. So. That’s obviously a big deal. I’m personally excited to see how that grows and I hope it grows in ways that can help journalists because I think, as you mentioned, there’s a lot of freelancers out there that probably, you know, would love a paycheck from a brand but also would want to make sure it aligns with their ethics as well.
Shawn: Right. Exactly. Because that’s- after you write something, it’s out there. If you’re writing something about how great Nike is, now you’re writing commercials basically and that’s out there with your name on it and it’s not gonna go away. I think that’s- for a lot of people that would be tough to overcome if you then want to go back to this supposedly disassociated third-party who’s unbiased. I think that’s a tougher sell.
Megan: Yeah, no. It’s an interesting- it’s definitely a problem I don’t think we’ve solved yet, but it’s interesting to see. So, final question, and I warned you this was coming so hopefully you had time to think about it. If you could have lunch with any journalist, even a public figure, living or dead, who would you want to interview or who’s brain would you want to pick over lunch?
Shawn: I would pick, either-and for the same reason- either Jim McKay or Peter Jennings because both of them were on air when – Jim McKay was on air covering the Olympics when there was the terrorist attack in 1972 and the Israeli athletes were first held hostage and then eventually killed and then Peter Jennings was on air for 9/11 when that was going on. Where you’ve just got all this information flooding you and you’re not there. You’re not on the scene. You’re in a studio hundreds or thousands of miles away and you’re trying to sort through all of this and explain to America what’s happened and at the same time, they’re taking their cue from the way that you’re reacting to this. So they also, they’re not the president. They’re not the one in charge, but they at times probably have more influence on the way the country reacts to that just because their demeanor is what we’re going to pick up on. So I feel like that’s just a fascinating task that’s almost impossible to prepare for. I mean you can’t possibly prepare for the chance to do that. What’s going through their mind and what their process was for doing this. They’re humans so they’re reacting to the story the same as the rest of us. They’re just doing it while watching and while trying to tell the story. So the idea of you’re broadcasting for history on the one hand and you’re also coping with these feelings and also being the role model for how we’re all going to react to it. I feel like that’s just fascinating. Unfortunately, neither of them are with us anymore so I’m not going to be able to have lunch with them but I feel like just to understand what it was like to be thrust in that role and how they approached it would be fascinating I think.
Megan: Yeah and in some ways that’s kind of the ideal of being a certain kind of journalist but even being a personal-essayist type of journalist. It’s like you have to- even when you’re writing a personal essay, you have to be able to take a certain number of steps back. You can’t just flood it with “and I think this…” It has to be something that people can understand and value. So I think learning from them would just be a great lesson for anyone who aspires to be a nonfiction storyteller-or even a fiction storyteller really because of the perspective that you ned. So yeah, I’d like to listen to that lunch too. I think that would be really cool. So, yeah. Shawn, thank you so much for talking to me today. I feel I’ve learned a lot and I’m really excited about Raleigh and Company. I think you guys are doing some really cool things and you’re creating a space- an online space that covers Raleigh in a way – and Durham, well maybe you just cover Raleigh. Maybe you’ll cover us eventually- in away that I haven’t really seen before so thank you.
Shawn: Well if that yellow line goes all the way to Durham then we’ll follow it there.
Megan: Okay. I’ll make some phone calls and that can be arranged.
Megan: But thank you. Thank you so much.
Shawn: Thank you. Thank you for having me. This has been a lot of fun.