Bleckley Writer Takes His Job to Heart | Arts & Culture
They say it takes a village.
And the writer behind BleckleyProgress.com is a part of that .
Dave Whitaker is on the sideline when your son makes his first middle school touchdown or your daughter places at her cross country meet.
“It’s all about connection,” Dave Whitaker says.
Sticking to his Central Georgia roots, Whitaker went to school in Cochran and graduated from Twiggs Academy and Georgia College.
He recalls always having a knack for writing: When he was in school, his teacher would have him read his essays aloud because of his illegible handwriting, but he made the grade despite that.
In college he wrote for the school papers, he says he’s written letters to the editor at The Telegraph, and also took a photography class.
He says he started out at The Cochran Journal, when his father approached him about starting The Bleckley Progress as a co-venture.
In 2005, the Bleckley Progress came to life.
Asked if he ever wants to leave Cochran, “I feel like I’m here where I’m needed,” Whitaker says.
He reports on middle school and high school sports as well as events in the Bleckley-Cochran community.
He says he’s where he’s needed, especially because he covers things that most media outlets don’t.
He talks of the kids and families in school sports as a proud papa. He’s talking about the pride he feels when he observes a coach yell “Good job” at a student trying their best, but still in last place.
“The hidden treasure in Bleckley County is Shelly Cranford, the cross country coach,” he says. “He’s there yelling ‘Good job’ at someone who is in last place, but trying their best.”
Whitaker says the treasures in Bleckley County are the people who work hard for the kids and what they do inspires him.
He prefers to cover the good things people are doing in the community.
“There’s a lot of bad news out there: car wrecks, shootings, the mayor’s resignation…” he trails off.
As a deeply-rooted Bleckley native, he believes in the power of good news.
“I try to stay away from the negative and focus on the good things for people to read.”