How journalist Ernie Suggs presses on

I like to tell people that I arrived in Atlanta a year late. My goal as a young journalist in North Carolina at the time was to secure a job at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in time for the 1996 Olympics.

I was hired in 1997 and now, after a remarkable 23 years, I have learned that I actually arrived right on time.

When I came to Atlanta a young reporter, I walked into a sprawling operation in downtown Atlanta with literally hundreds of reporters based all over the country writing for two newspapers: The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution.

Today, the staff is smaller, we have one paper, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and a lot of our focus is on our digital content and presentation. Things have changed so much that we are not even in our downtown building anymore, or our new cozy suburban offices. But rather, working at our kitchen tables and makeshift home offices during the pandemic.

But one thing never changed – the commitment to bringing you, the reader, top-notch and timely news.

When I was hired, my first job was as a night-time cops reporter. From there, my official beats included K-12, higher education, City Hall, the Georgia Senate and so many others that I have forgotten.

But with all of those jobs, I was always the guy – even when we didn’t have it as a beat – covering race. And what better place to do it than in Atlanta.

I will never forget the surreal feeling of meeting Coretta Scott King for the first time. Or to have Joe Lowery, C.T. Vivian or Andy Young blow up my phone. Right here in Atlanta, these people, because of what they contributed to this country in civil rights, were considered a second set of American Founding Fathers.

I loved covering them and I still consider it an honor. But times have changed. Now as a full-time race and culture reporter, it is my job to present to the reader some of the hard realities that Atlanta and the country are facing now: like what seems like growing racial unrest and health disparities in the age of COVID-19.

I know it gets heavy sometimes, which is why I also feel it is important to write about young Black entrepreneurs and artists who are making significant contributions to our society right here from Atlanta.

I know all of this is important to you because my inbox is always filled with your letters.

So, thank you for your support.

Your subscriptions continue to support what I and my colleagues do every day to keep you informed and versed on what is important in your community and around the globe.

And thank you for reading and supporting me for 23 years as an Atlanta Journal-Constitution journalist. The timing has been perfect.

Please support the work of your journalists. Start a subscription today. If you’re already a subscriber, thank you. With your support, we can keep you informed with real, fact-based news. It’s worth knowing what’s really going on.

About the Author