Veteran columnist Scott Mooneyham stepping away from journalism

Posted by Clifton Dowell on May 13, 2014 

Veteran journalist Paul T. O’Connor has been named editor of The Insider on an interim basis beginning Wednesday, prior to the start of the short session of the North Carolina General Assembly.

O’Connor takes over for Scott Mooneyham, who is leaving the Insider after 10 years to take another job.

O’Connor will also fill in as opinion columnist for the Insider’s Capitol Press Association, which provides editorial content to about 35 newspapers across the state.

O’Connor was the Capitol Press Association’s columnist for 22 years before the organization became part of the Insider in 2004.O’Connor has spent 39 years in journalism, 35 of them writing about North Carolina state government and politics. He began his career in Wisconsin and worked at The (Lumberton) Robesonian for nearly two years before joining the staff of The Raleigh Times as its state government reporter in 1979.

While writing his Capitol Press Association column, he had an overlapping 18-year career as an editorial writer and columnist for the Winston-Salem Journal. OConnor, 62, is also a part-time lecturer at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Mooneyham came to the Insider in 2004 from The Associated Press, where he worked for eight years, including six years in the AP’s legislative bureau. He has also worked for The Goldsboro News-Argus and The Fayetteville Observer.

His new position relates to public policy and will be announced within one week, Mooneyham said on Monday.

O’Connor is expected to serve as interim editor through the short session while the Insider conducts a search for a permanent editor and Capitol Press Association columnist.

Originally founded in the 1930s, the Capitol Press Association is made up of smaller newspapers across the state that pull together to sponsor an independent columnist writing about state issues in Raleigh. In 2004, with O’Connor’s decision to accept a job at the Winston-Salem Journal, the association became part of the Insider

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