Alibi V.21 No.38 • Sept 20-26, 2012 


Community Journalism

I worked for the Alibi as an intern, freelance writer and staff writer between 2005 and 2009. Some of my very favorite stories I wrote during my time at the paper included a series of 2009 pieces about a cement transfer plant in the North Valley. The plant requested, and eventually received, a permit to drastically increase the amount of pollution it could spew into the air. Neighbors near the plant spent hours collectively voicing their opposition to the proposal at public hearings. Though the permit was granted, there were several conditions placed on the plant's operating procedures in no small part because of the public outcry over the request.

We were very careful to get both sides of the story, and the cement plant deserves credit for offering theirs, but it was equally important to tell the story of the residents who felt threatened. The Alibi's bread-and-butter is this type of community journalism.

I will always admire the Alibi for its ability to cover what others overlook. It provides a voice for the voiceless.

Not only am I proud of what I did for the Alibi, I feel incredibly privileged to have worked with a group of staffers who I still consider my friends. I will always remember my send-off party, and just thinking about it makes me choke up.

In 2009, I left the paper to go to grad school in New York and now work as an associate editor for the Crime and Weird News sections of The Huffington Post. But the Alibi is the place where I truly fell in love with journalism and where I learned that what you write matters if you cover what’s important and you do it with people you trust.