Photo by Antje Johnson/

Overview: A note from the new managing editor of The Lens

I'm the new managing editor of The Lens, returning to a place I've called home even after working elsewhere for almost 30 years.

When I left New Orleans almost 30 years ago to take my first reporting job, it wasn’t clear if, or when, I’d be back in a professional capacity.

I was a rookie journalist and wanted and needed experience in this line of work. Stops across the Gulf Coast and as far away as Louisville, Kentucky, and St. Louis, writing and editing stories about politics, criminal justice, the American far-right, and meeting more interesting and amazing people than I could count gave me the experience I sought.

While I settled in at each one of those stops over the years, New Orleans was always home. No matter where I live, this is always where I’m from.

My family has been in Louisiana since the days before it became a state. And we’ve been in the news business in New Orleans for about 90 years.

Professionally, during each of the stops around the country, I pursued (and helped others pursue) unique stories, pieces that included the voices of people impacted by the choices and decisions of their government and political leaders.

During my last professional stop, in Memphis, Tennessee, I led a team of reporters covering the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, whose beating by police was captured on video. Then, the stars aligned in a way that allowed me to come back to New Orleans and continue to pursue my profession.

Now, I’m the new managing editor of The Lens, stepping into the shoes of Marta Jewson, who served as interim editor and is staying on as deputy editor and to continue the reporting she does so well.

I’m looking forward to working with the staff at The Lens to produce distinctive stories that hold those in power accountable for their decisions (or lack thereof), try to provide answers when we can about why or how something happened, and push the conversation forward about how the city can fix its problems and continue to grow without losing the things that make it New Orleans.

We can’t cover everything, no matter how much we want to. But what we write about, whether education, City Hall, criminal justice or the environment, we’ll do well, with knowledge and depth. In short, we’ll do our part to tell the story of the city and the people who live here.

And, when we’re doing it well, we’ll try to make sure you hear the voices of the people impacted by the decisions of city leaders in the stories we write. Those decisions are not abstract – they impact what you do and how you live every day.

We do this work because we love it. And we do it in New Orleans because we care about the place we’ve chosen to live and the people we share this city with.

No, readers will not always be happy with what we report. But, if we do it right, you’ll come away with information or knowledge you didn’t have before, and it will be something you might need to know.

So, stick with us, or check out our work if you are a new reader to The Lens. We’re going to do some good things and, if all goes well, have fun doing it.

Reach out to us with our tips and story ideas. Those tips help us keep track of what’s going around the city.

And I’ll see you around town as I get settled in.