The Charlotte Observer names first Black as executive editor

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Rana Cash, executive editor of the Savannah Morning News in Georgia, has been named to the same position at The Charlotte Observer, the North Carolina newspaper’s first Black editor in its 135-year history.

Kristin Roberts, McClatchy’s senior vice president for news, announced Cash’s hiring on Wednesday, the newspaper reported. Cash, 50, begins her new job in early October, replacing Sherry Chisenhall, who announced last month that she was leaving the newspaper.

“She shares our commitment to the mission of independent, essential journalism that serves the full community. And she is an advocate for deep community engagement that ensures we create unique value for our readers, viewers and listeners every day,” Roberts said.

In her role in Savannah, Cash oversees the Augusta Chronicle and Athens Banner-Herald for the Gannett chain.

Cash’s appointment marks a return to Charlotte after she served as deputy editor of The Sporting News from 2010 to 2016. Her experience includes stints at The Miami Herald, The Dallas Morning News and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She also worked at The Minneapolis Star-Tribune and The Louisville Courier Journal.

Cash said the newspaper would ask tough questions of leadership and cover Charlotte’s communities from the ground up.

“All our communities need to be reflected in our coverage, not just people of influence,” Cash said Tuesday. “Everyday people should be able to pick up our paper or come to our website and see themselves, their lives, and the stories that matter to them.”

Cash said the racial reckoning which has jolted the country has also impacted Charlotte.

“We’re not going to run away from those stories,” she said. “It’s a moment in time when as journalists we have a responsibility to cover public safety in a way that holds law enforcement accountable. We know they have tough jobs. But we’ve learned that we need to be more skeptical, more curious, to ask tougher questions and demand that they be answered.”

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