This is the first in an occasional series of Q&A posts written to introduce you to the journalists who work in our newsroom. Please share ideas on how to improve the content and format.
Dwayne Yancey, senior editor
Yancey supervises our niche publications (including So Salem, SWoCo, The Botetourt View, New River Current, Blue Ridge Business Journal) and works to develop new content ideas. He’s also well-versed on Virginia politics and frequently posts on the Blue Ridge caucus blog.
Hometown: McGaheysville, Virginia.
College, major: James Madison University, political science.
Why journalism: I grew up on a farm and had enough of raising chickens. They stink. And the hens fight back when you try to gather the eggs. I was always interested in writing, and in current affairs, from politics to sports, so journalism seemed a good way to combine the two interests.
Years in journalism: Umm, well, do you count working on the high school paper in the early ’70s? My first full-time job in journalism was in 1980, so I guess that’s 30 years.
Years at The Roanoke Times | roanoke.com: Since 1982, so I guess that’s 28 years. Math is not my strong suit.
Other newsrooms where you have worked: I spent two-plus years at Commonwealth magazine in Richmond, since defunct, before coming to Roanoke.
Proudest journalism accomplishments: As a reporter: Covering Doug Wilder’s political career, as he became the first African-American to win statewide office in Virginia, and become the first African-American elected governor anywhere in the country. Covering the Pittston coal strike in the late ’80s, which presaged a lot of the health care debates today. Covering Highland County boys basketball when it broke its state record losing streak. As an editor: It’s hard to say you’re proud of being involved in a tragedy, but it’s hard not to mention being involved in supervising the local coverage of Sept. 11 and the Virginia Tech shootings. Also, starting three community news weeklies and making them successful — The Botetourt View, So Salem and SWoCo.
Journalists you admire: Nationally, I read almost anything I can find by David Brooks and Charles Krauthammer. They’re opinion writers with a gift for language. I also read anything I can find by Michael Barone and Jay Cost, two more opinion writers who are excellent at using statistics. Locally, the folks I work with every day at The Roanoke Times.
Web sites you visit regularly: realclearpolitics.com has the summary of political coverage, of all persuasions, and its related sites for world and sports coverage do the same in those areas.
Favorite books: Lord of the Rings. Other recent books read include “The Open Veins of Latin America,” one of several books on Latin America and Spain that my daughter — who has studied in both places — has given me.
Favorite movies: Lord of the Rings. The Richard III film set in the ’30s with Ian McKellen as Richard. I’m a Shakespeare geek.
Interests outside of work: Theatre. I write plays, and have had some published and produced. If anyone is in England around Halloween, they can see two short pieces of mine in a theatre there. both deal with ghosts for a Halloween theme If they’re in Duluth, Minnesota in November they can see “Red Moon Rising in the East” at the Duluth Playhouse; it’s based on a true story of the Soviet space program. And if they’re back in England next spring, they can go down on the south coast and see “The Rules are the Rules are the Rules,” a one-act about flight attendants.