I like Tacoma. I like pho at Than Brothers and gallons of iced tea at the West End. I like Titlow Beach at sunset and tennis at Point Defiance. I like stiff drinks at Knapp’s and coffee shops on every corner. I like watching downtown transform itself. I like being able to walk several blocks on South 38th Street and rarely see a sign in English. I like chatting with guys like Ruggles Larson, a 73-year-old regular on the running circuit who can put younger athletes to shame but is completely humble. I like driving past the gal dancing with the Little Caesar’s sign on Pacific and 38th. I like how grown men still argue about high school football and how there’s a tension in the air before the Apple Cup. I like community pride and how the city seems to burst with different charities.
There are thousands of stories to tell in Tacoma, and I’ve been honored to cover hundreds of them so far as a sports writer. There have been stories that left me feeling like I got hit in the gut with a sledgehammer, and stories that reaffirm my faith in mankind.
I want to continue telling great stories from a great city, and that’s one reason why I recently left the sports department to become a mobile journalist covering news. There are gaps in coverage – immigration, community concerns and a lot of the good work done by charities, among others – which I hope to fill. To do so, though, I’ll need help from you, the readers.
This position is still a work in progress. I’m going to meet regularly with my editors to tweak it. We’ll figure out what works, what doesn’t, what needs more coverage and what needs to be scaled back.
That’s where we’ll need help from you. We want your input on this too. What do you think needs more coverage? What needs less? If you have a good story idea, send it my way.
My beat – and this blog – is a new approach on the news. There will be more audio and video presentations. More photos. More graphics. To help make this blog the best it can be, I’ll receive help from my coworkers here at The News Tribune. You’d be hard-pressed to find a group of people anywhere in the city with more knowledge of the past, present and future of the South Sound.
I often ask personal questions during interviews, so I feel it’s fair to give you a quick background on myself. I grew up in a suburb of New Orleans. I went to the University of Missouri, which one of our sports columnists, our executive editor, my fiancée and my alumni association tell me is the best journalism school in the country. After my senior year, I interned at The News Tribune and set foot in the Northwest for the first time. I then traveled a bit and took a job in Albuquerque, N.M. In October, I returned to Tacoma.
Unlike most reporters, I’m not going to head back to the newsroom to write and file my stories. Instead, that guy drinking an Italian soda at Forza with a laptop could be me cranking out a story. If you spot me out and about, stop me, say hello and tell me how I’m doing. Or call or e-mail me – my number’s in that nifty little box to your right.
Thanks, and I’ll see you around.