Arizona Republic, Washington Post reporters recall TFP internshipsWritten by Guest Author | | GuestAuthor@toledofreepress.com
Toledo is a messy place. Gritty. It exudes a special energy. One in which its people will raise hell when things go awry but maintain pride in the town all the same. One that gives those who spring from its tangled web a tough backbone and a zeal for real talk.
Having been forged in the city’s belly, Toledo Free Press has come to embody those things over the years. It has broken stories of sorrow and abuse, stories of joy and amusement.
I launched my journalism career more than six years ago in that second story office on Monroe Street, and I can thank TFP for many of the skills I use today as a journalist.
The paper taught me to question everything — and not to be intimidated by big competition, but to thrive on it. It made me realize that the quality of news reporting does not rest in the resources you’re given, but by the drive to demand answers and make the world a better place.
I’m now an investigative reporter at The Arizona Republic who digs through public records, analyzes massive data sets, builds charts and maps and talks to experts to get to the bottom of complicated stories. I’m about 2,000 miles away, but I’ll never be too far to feel that Toledo and TFP pride.
Caitlin McGlade is an investigative reporter at The Arizona Republic. She interned at Toledo Free Press in 2009 and returned as a staff writer from 2011-12.
I started learning there what it takes to be a crime reporter. One of the first times I knocked on strangers’ doors in pursuit of a story came when I was working on a cover piece about two Jeep workers involved in murder-suicides.
A decade later, I’ve knocked on more doors than I can count while on various law enforcement beats at The Washington Post. That’s where I work now, covering federal courts in the Eastern District of Virginia. I started at The Washington Post young; it was my first job out of college. But I never felt unprepared or inadequate, and I think my experience in Toledo is a big reason for that.
My family still lives in Toledo, and I visit the city regularly. I’m so happy to see two newspapers still surviving and competing there, and I hope that continues for years to come.
Matt Zapotosky is a federal courts reporter at The Washington Post. He interned at Toledo Free Press in 2005.