As many know via my social media channels, I’ve been laid off from the Henry Herald and Clayton News due to Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Those are two entities under the same umbrella that I worked hard for over the past four years of my career since graduating from college. It was a chance of the lifetime for me honestly as Southern Community Newspapers Inc. took a chance on the Georgia boy who graduated from South Carolina State University.
Need I add the only thing on my resume at that time were three internships and an article from BeyondtheFlag. It wasn’t enough to land a job admittedly, but they gave me a chance and I took it and ran with it.
My job search was over, and I had one goal in mind. Just knock it out the park no matter what I do.
It took me a little bit of time to adjust to the position in general and I took my major lumps in the process. College and professional world reporting were just different beasts and it really tested me.
I’ll never forget the first article I did about Pickleball in Henry County. It was longform and way too wordy even with creative editing, but I was just a journalist. It was tough and I panicked but I stayed the course and kept my head down.
I’ll never forget how I had to turn and go to Atlanta Motor Speedway, two weeks into my career and learn my way around from being an armchair NASCAR fan to be a journalist that can’t fanboy.
It was a leap of faith that my former sports editor and even the main editor took on me.
From there, the wheels began to turn. 2016 marked the first time I’d be a part of state tournament games and see my alma mater in action on the lacrosse field. When the fall time came, the work just improved. Football was here and I was ready for the next step.
I continued to improve and brought forth so many ideas while still learning as a journalist. But I became a full-timer and that led to a change in myself as well. I was so ecstatic. There was much to do!
After one year, I found more sports to cover. From football to softball to cross-country, I made sure that everyone was reflected in some way in the newspaper. It was an honor to do so as I knew the community relied on that coverage of these young athletes.
In 2017, I was tasked with covering state championship softball. I’d never been to Columbus before, but I made it a point to travel down south and bring the county’s beloved program their news, be it a win or a loss. I fought hard for our community to see the news of their team that carried the light and hopes of the community.
When it came down to it. I think I did everything I could then, but I wanted to go beyond. And I did. I pushed harder than ever before to make it happen.
2018 was the most trying year I ever had to face. Outside issues continued to sneak into my work and I was struggling. There were days I thought to give up and let it all just go. But I remembered getting messages from the readers that always thanked me for the hard work I was able to do.
So, I kept pushing. In 2018, I was without a place to stay but I covered sports while bouncing from friend’s houses and hotel rooms to continue doing my job. I dealt with my sports editor leaving at that time and me being promoted to his position when I was never sure where my head would lay for bed.
And yet, my greatest moments were when the readers out there interacted positively with my work. As time passed, tough things became easier. I settled into the sports editor role and casually began to find new ways to tell stories.
I had two counties by 2019 that needed the coverage. One was Clayton County and the other, being Henry County. They all had tons of good news to share but I also had to make decisions that left many stories untold.
But I wasn’t discouraged. I just made it work and happen. I don’t know if this is a brag or me admitting that I was a bit crazy, but I will say this.
I covered 22 high schools, an NBA G League team, a WNBA team, NASCAR, IMSA’s unique drivers, and an NBA 2K League program. All while just searching for more ways to inform the community of things that were going on around them.
Each part of the beat became a part of me. I loved the community and I loved seeing these young athletes grow to what they’ve become today. The ones who were seniors when I started are closing in on their college graduations while the ones who were freshmen when I started are set to cross the stage, whenever that stage may come.
I enjoyed learning the unique people of each school, team, program, NASCAR and more even the NBA 2K League. I am proud of every one of my readers that supported me from my first article to my last.
I’m grateful to the student-athletes that made their time to chat with me and I’m glad to have served Clayton and Henry County areas to the best of my abilities.
The countless stories that were told are just the beginning of where I stand as a journalist and I am looking forward to my next steps. Whatever that may be. I’m ready for it all.
Opportunities to continue showcasing my work are all that I ask for.
If you have an opportunity available, I’m willing and I’m able to move immediately.
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If you’re wanting to view my portfolio of work, just a simple click to this link will get you there. https://authory.com/dariusgoodman