Since before our online operations were even on the Internet, Bob Curley has been the news editor and principal writer behind Join Together’s daily coverage of alcohol, tobacco and drug issues. After seventeen years and over 30,000 (!) stories, Bob is hanging up his hat at Join Together to focus on other work in the health sector and elsewhere.
You’ll continue to see Bob’s familiar byline in occasional feature stories, but as his daily presence comes to a close, we really must pause to thank Bob for his outstanding contribution to Join Together’s work and to the field.
Bob originated Join Together’s online news service in 1993 — first on a private dial-up service (anyone remember HandsNet?), then text-only Gopher and AOL sites, and on to the web when the first version of JoinTogether.org came online in early 1996.
From those early pre-web days, through four iterations of our website and into the age of blogs and Facebook, Bob has expertly kept our readers up to date with the critical information they need in order to be effective. His body of work includes thousands of unsigned news and research summaries, hundreds of bylined features on every important issue in the field, countless funding news items that connected readers to millions of dollars in grants, and (more recently) incisive posts on our new blog.
As Bob’s colleague for fifteen of those seventeen years, I’ve observed firsthand how his sharp news instincts and keen insights into the complexities of addictions policy and practice have bolstered a generation of advocates, leaders, and professionals who work on these issues every day.
“Bob has played a key role in delivering Join Together’s promise to cover the entire field of addiction prevention, treatment and policy and report important events, trends, research and local activities,” says David Rosenbloom, Director of Join Together. “His sharp eye and quick writing skills have informed, educated, motivated, and sometimes outraged the several million people throughout the world who have read his pieces over the past seventeen years. On their behalf, and personally, I thank him for his enormous contribution and wish him well.”
Fortunately, Bob has been generous with his knowledge over the years as our editorial team has grown, sharing many tricks of the trade with those of us here who will continue bringing you the news. We’re also delighted to welcome new writers, each with considerable experience covering the addictions field. You’ll be getting to know them soon — but for now, we offer our gratitude to “CurleyBob” for his dedication, friendship, and a job very well done.
Eric Helmuth is Director of Online Services for Join Together.