Columnist Doug Monroe joins CL 

For years, I've been jealous of Atlanta magazine. On the last page of the local monthly is one of the best columns in the country. It's called "Monroe Doctrine," and it's written by an Atlanta journalist named Doug Monroe.

Doug's column sometimes is personal, sometimes is historical and often breaks major news stories. Anyone who's read him knows he brings incredibly deep knowledge of the community to his work -- the kind of depth you get when you're a fifth-generation Atlantan whose great-great-grandmother operated a boarding house in Midtown. He's that rare writer who can place big stories in a meaningful, fresh perspective.

Among many professional honors, he won last year's Silver Award for Best Feature Story from the City and Regional Magazine Association, and was judged best essayist by the Magazine Association of Georgia in 2003.

Well, come Sept. 20, I'll be jealous no more. That's when Doug is dragging his pen and pad across town to become a senior editor at Creative Loafing.

It's a big deal for us because Doug's kind of a big dog in Atlanta journalism circles. In 13 years during two stints at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he edited the "Dixie Living" section, served as the editor who supervised all suburban coverage, wrote the "Monroe Drive" traffic column and completed investigative projects. He was founding editor of the "Cobb Extra" weekly zoned edition and of the daily's "Horizon" section.

As a senior editor at CL, he'll write a column called Humbug Square -- named after a sort of free-speech zone in 19th-century Atlanta. Humbug Square usually will alternate with John Sugg's Fishwrapper column. That will give John more time to work on regional projects, including his "Voices of the South" tour, which is described in an article on this page. Doug also will work on cover features and will take up some CL editing duties.

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