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Alex Zietlow

Journalist: The Herald, a daily newspaper in Rock Hill, S.C. (August 2019 - Present)

Location icon United States

A blurb about me...

One of the truest quotes I've ever been able to find about writing comes, ironically, from an unknown source:

"Pro writers are just amateurs who didn't quit."

There's unaddressed complexity in every generalized statement like this one — but I find this particular idea largely true. In my young career as a journalist, I've found that no innate gift or large ego can sharpen a writer's craft like practice, commitment and time.

Believe me: I've learned this lesson. I've bought into the ideology that bred it. And I'm happy to report that I haven't yet called it quits. I don't think I ever will.

As far as where I've been...

In August 2019, I accepted the role as The (Rock Hill) Herald's sports reporter/editor. As the only full-time sportswriter in the office, I'm tasked with (1) managing stringers on an as-need basis, (2) organizing weeks and weeks worth of content to go in both the daily online and print publications and (3) writing features, gamers, news stories and really any and everything that intersects with sports in the area — all to ensure that this news outlet remains an integral part of the Rock Hill community.

In the summer prior to taking my current station at The Herald, I was a sports intern for The News and Observer, the largest daily paper in North Carolina. There, I was fortunate to write nearly 30 stories on a variety of topics and people — many of which had themes or news pegs that dealt with life outside of sports: whether it be about a UNC football player opening up about his eight-year struggle with depression; or about a U.S. Paralympian from Durham who runs to inspire the next generation of adaptive athletes; or about a fencing coach that, after 52 years at the program's helm, decided he was ready to retire. Each of these stories are enclosed at the links below.

I also have experience reporting outside of sports and with other publications. As part of one of my classes for Professor John Robinson, I wrote for a site called UNC Media Hub in the spring semester of my senior year of college. I had several of my stories published by other local media outlets, including The N&O and ABC11, which are also included below.

Before that, I wrote news, enterprise/investigative pieces and sports for UNC's campus community newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel. Among the nearly 100 clips I churned out at the publication, I reported on an instance of blatant administrative inaction; I chronicled a chapter of one of the most special rivalries in sports (UNC vs. Duke men's basketball); and I wrote about how the monuments on UNC's campus point to the institution's legacy of slavery.

In May 2019, I graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with degrees in journalism and political science. I also minored in philosophy, politics and economics (otherwise known as "PPE").

Summing it all up...

Here's a list of publications I've had bylines for:

The (Rock Hill, S.C.) Herald; The (Raleigh, N.C.) News and Observer; UNC Media Hub; The Daily Tar Heel; Carolina Political Review; Durham VOICE; and The Washington Times.

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to reach out for any professional inquiry at any time.

Phone: (919) 622-7646
Email: [email protected]

Portfolio

Enterprise and Feature Pieces

The Daily Tar Heel
11/07/2018
'Walking on eggshells': Two years later, UNC publishes data from diversity survey

Fitzhugh Brundage, a history professor at UNC, said he's perceived that the University has been playing catch-up for the past six years. "I think this catch-up is partially tied to a risk-averse administration and a political environment in which the chancellor and others must be very concerned that the University will be punished by the state legislature," Brundage said.

UNC Media Hub
02/19/2019
A clash of cultures: An immigrant's son searches for his place in America

Story by: Alex Zietlow Video by: Kathryn Macomson Photos by: Callie Williams CARY, North Carolina - Laid out on the fully-reclined driver seat in his 2003 Honda Accord, R.J. Singh took off his sunglasses and rubbed his eyes awake. He was somewhere in Indianapolis at a truck stop, a setting he had grown comfortable with over the...

The Daily Tar Heel
08/23/2018
UNC's legacy of slavery doesn't end with Silent Sam

He knew that the slave legacy wouldn't dissolve with the statue's removal. He knows the solution still needs direction. But on Tuesday afternoon, senior Nicho Stevens walked up to the remains of Silent Sam by himself.

newsobserver
Born to run: Durham's Desmond Jackson competes to inspire

U.S. Paralympian Desmond Jackson poses for a portrait in Durham, NC on June 7, 2019. [email protected] When Desmond Jackson charged through the finish line at the 2014 North Carolina indoor track and field state championships, he made history. He'd just run 55 meters at a pace he doesn't care to remember now.

The Daily Tar Heel
08/25/2017
All They Need: Robert and Jeremy Kelly give a new meaning to "Carolina Family"

If it's easy to explain, it's not love. *** The sun sank low in the sky. The once-luscious grass lay tattered. Jane and Robert Kelly Sr. had been playing two-on-two soccer with their 10- and 11-year-old sons for hours when they finally made the joint executive decision to call it quits.

Durhamvoice
11/08/2017
5th Fare: More than a tattoo parlor

Just like the skin of the store's customers, the walls inside 5th Fare - one of Durham's newest urban galleries and tattoo parlors - are dressed up with artwork. There's an outlined sketch of a bull with city landmarks filling the animal's body. There are drawings of sheet music with abstract, unidentified monsters in the foreground.

The Daily Tar Heel
02/01/2019
Why UNC women's tennis coach Brian Kalbas was a chance worth taking

Not everyone saw the success of UNC women's tennis coach, Brian Kalbas, coming. Since starting at North Carolina in 2003, he's won three ITA National Indoor championships, added another national coach of the year honor and has won four ACC Championships - including three in a row the last three years.

News Stories

The Daily Tar Heel
09/04/2017
UNC's Michael Carter started his own road to glory on Saturday

"He's a competitor and he's a great player," senior wide receiver Austin Proehl said. "He came in early and he's learned the offense and been competing ever since." Carter - who is actually a 5-foot-9, 195-pound running back, despite what his virtual career suggests - tallied 94 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries in North Carolina's opening game loss to California on Saturday.

The Washington Times
07/09/2017
FIRST Global Challenge visas granted to 99% of teams

When preparing to stage the FIRST Global Challenge for teams of teenagers from around the globe, Joe Sestak, the nonprofit's president, estimated in December that up to a third of the entries could face problems getting visas to come to the U.S. Seven months later, 99 percent of the countries have been granted travel visas.

The Daily Tar Heel
03/07/2018
Woody Durham, longtime voice of the Tar Heels, dies at 76

Woody Durham, who had served as the radio play-by-play commentator for North Carolina athletics for 40 years, died on Wednesday morning in Chapel Hill. He was 76 years old. The Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association will honor Durham this week at the men's basketball ACC Tournament in Brooklyn

Columns/thought-provoking pieces

Carolina Political Review
09/10/2018
Nike's Kaepernick Endorsement Wasn't Surprising

Nike doesn't sell shoes or shirts or socks in its advertisements anymore. It doesn't need to. Today, the multi-billion dollar athletic apparel company sells dreams. It reminds its consumers that athletes, no matter what they've accomplished, are still people.

The Daily Tar Heel
03/26/2018
COLUMN: Joel Berry II was taken for granted

So when he took off his jersey in the silent, somber locker room after his disappointing finale as a Tar Heel, I hope he found solace in the fact that his name will hang in the Smith Center rafters after he's gone - that his legacy will be immortalized and appreciated even after he's no longer diving for loose balls; playing through sprained ankles; and shouldering the blame when his team falls and sidestepping the spotlight when his team reaches ultimate glory.

The Daily Tar Heel
05/07/2019
COLUMN: Thanks for letting me be myself, DTH

But these shortcomings aren't what stick with me now, as I'm trying to write my last piece for this special publication. Instead, similar to me summing up my entire college experience, what comes immediately to mind are answers too perfect and too easy for them to be fully true.

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