Veteran reporter comes home

Derrek Vaughn | The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA – Desiree Carver is back.

Affectionately known as “the tattooed reporter” around the Valdosta community, Carver returns to The Valdosta Daily Times for her second stint at the paper.

She will be covering education and business primarily, but do not put her in a box. Carver said she enjoys reporting on all types of stories and loves the variety.

An award-winning journalist, Carver spent four years in the newsroom from 2013-17 before leaving to explore other media opportunities for two years.

So what brought her back to The Times?

“I came back because I genuinely care about the Valdosta community, and I’ve lived here for 11 years,” Carver said. “I felt like I had a lot left to contribute here.”

Her ultimate goal is to run a newspaper herself, and the guidance of editors Jim Zachary and Dean Poling is invaluable to attain that role, Carver said.

The other reason for her return: the newsroom environment.

She started working with her friends in the newsroom and appreciated the sense of camaraderie and community in the newsroom.

From Douglas, she grew up in Coffee County and graduated from South Georgia College with a degree in print journalism before moving to Valdosta.

Her path to The Times is a unique one.

While working at a tattoo parlor, a Times employee at the time came to the shop for a tattoo and told her the paper was hiring.

“I still remember the tattoo he got: a buffalo,” Carver said.

She interviewed and got the job. She appreciates how The Times values professionalism and self-expression.

Self-described as extra colorful, her collection of body art consists of video game and comic book characters. A Mario mushroom here, a pokeball there, Carver's tattoos are a collage of gaming culture.

The Times is proud to have Carver back in the bullpen.

“Desiree brings a high level of talents, skills and charisma to The Valdosta Daily Times,” Poling said. “Through her past work with The Times and in other jobs, she has a deep understanding of the community and the job of a journalist. She’s the real deal. The newsroom and the newspaper are better for having her back.”

When she is not reporting, Carver said she enjoys playing video games, taking naps, watching “garbage tv” and going to conventions.

She plans to play Pokemon until the day she dies.

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