It’s hard to put into words quite what my time with Miami New Times has been like and what it has done for me. I fell into journalism later in life. Until the end of my freshman year of college, I had no idea what I wanted to do after realizing my projected path as an attorney just wasn’t for me. After joining my school newspaper, PantherNOW, I fell in love with the trade, but I was never sure if I was good enough to do it. I didn’t have the years of journalism knowledge or knowhow that my peers had, and I was unsure of myself at every turn. That was until I was interviewed by Chuck Strouse and offered an internship with New Times. Finally, I thought to myself, “maybe I’m not so bad after all.”
My experience working with the team at New Times has been a whirlwind of deep, hands-on education and goodhearted fun. The news editor Jessica Lipscomb supplied me with so many tools of the trade that I was lacking, including databases for court documents and old newspaper clippings as well as resources for finding new stories online. Chuck taught me to go after the heart of a story and make people care about what I’m writing by finding the human elements. Several times I turned in a piece of copy I thought finished only for Chuck to send it back looking for one more good, personal quote to drive it home, or one more paragraph to really nail a bad guy. For that I am grateful. The other staff writers in the office like Brittany Shammas and Jerry Ianelli showed me by their example that good journalism involves day in, day out work that pays off the most when you take down someone who is harming the public or reveal a truth that has been covered up but needs to come to light. Their work covering the Homestead detention center and voter fraud in Miami particularly inspired me to keep working hard.
As for my own body of work, my articles have run the gamut of tech reviews to political coverage to bogus cop beatdowns. My proudest development through my work here is the discovery of my personal interest in environmental reporting. I got the greatest sense of professional pride when I wrote about the environment and how local businesses and government agencies were neglecting it and exposing their negligence. When I would get emails from readers saying that they were glad someone cared enough about the nature here in South Florida to report on it, that’s when I knew. There’s a reason that my favorite hero is Superman, and his alter ego is a journalist. I can make a difference with this job, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. All in all, this has been one of the best summers of my life. I finally feel on track to a real career in journalism with a solid trajectory. New Times has helped me develop as a professional and I will carry these lessons all the way to (hopefully) the top.
Former Mayor Accused of Sexual Assault: https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/former-sweetwater-mayor-jose-m-diaz-accused-of-sexually-harassing-city-employee-11210894