I'm a reporter who is passionate about the power of story in communities. I specialize in connecting with sources, synthesizing creative and complex stories, highlighting personalities and explaining business moves or policy to a wide audience.
Since 2010, I've worked as an automotive reporter for the Detroit Free Press. I covered General Motors during its post-bankruptcy recovery, its initial public offering, the launch of the Chevy Volt and a surprise CEO change. My sourcing allowed our Freep team to break the details of GM's 2011 contract with the UAW, coverage which won a Gerald Loeb Award for breaking news.
I've also worked for Automotive News and the Associated Press. My jobs have included videography/editing, photography/editing, scriptwriting, on-camera reporting, website editing/management, audio gathering/editing and slideshow production. I've blogged, appeared as a radio/TV guest and broken news using Twitter and Facebook.
**Note about clips: For most of my time at the Freep, the newspaper had a policy against jumping stories from 1A. Instead, we wrote a five- or six-inch story for the front page and then directed readers to a full story on the inside. Editors and reporters viewed the entire package as one story.
Writing / photography
For Detroit, GM's initial public offering -- the largest in world history -- was an endorsement of the decision to bail out the local auto industry.
On the eve of the IPO, the Wall Street Journal and other media reported the government’s stock sale would drop its stake in GM to 26%. My sourcing put the stake at 33%. I stood my ground, and the Free Press was right.
Detroit’s first mass-marketed electric car, the Chevy Volt, launched shortly after GM's return to the stock market. This story, along with the IPO coverage, made me a quarterly finalist for Gannett's beat reporting award.
The second-day story from our Loeb-winning coverage of GM’s new contract with the UAW. The deal was finalized after 11 p.m., so I rushed to break a handful of contract terms overnight, then learned more details for this story.
Why Detroit's unemployed workers aren't likely to get a chance to apply for upcoming auto jobs. This article addresses automakers' referral systems, long honored with a code of silence among auto reporters.
I spell out the slow growth likely in China for the next few years. This angle demonstrated leadership among U.S. auto reporters, who were generally more optimistic. The market indeed slowed, validating more dire predictions.
I reported the China-based portion of this story, part of a series on invasive Asian carp in the Midwest. The series has won several awards, including a second-place finish in the 2012 National Headliner Awards.
During GM’s restructuring, a local plant closed, then reopened to build the smallest car made in the U.S. In this story, I describe the personalities behind GM’s quest to build a high-quality, low-cost subcompact.
On my first day at the Freep, GM transitioned to its fourth CEO in 17 months. In this story, from Akerson’s first interview in our market, I give a view of his personality. Tom Walsh, our biz columnist, joined the interview.
Accompanied a story on the controversy over a church-owned park that welcomed the homeless. I gathered audio and edited the slideshow. Photos by Gail Burton
Article from package about controversial church park made available to homeless people
Accompanied a story on incentives for bike commuters. I gathered audio and edited the slideshow. Photos by Steve Ruark
Article from package about moves to add incentives for bike commuters
When legendary auto exec Bob Lutz finally retired, Auto News toured his car collection. I shot and edited this video, wrote the script and did on-camera reporting. A tight garage and a tight schedule, but video was a huge hit.
The story behind GM's decision to build more Chevy Volts