The first time I moved to New York City was in Aug 2013. Even before I had found housing, I remember spotting the New York Times building and taking this photo there. Forward to 2022 and finding out that I will soon be working at the Times, I logged on to Facebook – something I haven’t done in years – and dug up this old photo. The second photo is from this summer. It’s cheesy to share these photos but my experience at the Times was so magical that I don’t mind a little melodrama.
Forty bylines, an international feature, and breaking news stories week after week, are the tangible items I am taking away from the Times. Meeting wonderful, compassionate editors, and learning from them on a daily basis was the larger privilege. The editors and reporters at the Times taught me so much about gathering facts, checking and rechecking and then checking once more for any mistakes, framing and structuring the story and trusting yourself and your editor.
A story I did for the Live desk this month that I am unlikely to ever forget was from the floods in Kentucky. It was a story about a young couple who watched their four children be swept away by the rushing water. Talking to the family, gaining their trust and and telling their story was an immense privilege.
Although the Neuffer Fellowship has so much to offer – there are courses at MIT and Harvard, a chance to work at the Globe, attending the HEFAT with other intrepid journalists – the months I spent on the Live desk at the Times were the most productive and instructive part of the Fellowship. So many journalists at the Times knew and remembered Elizabeth fondly, and it was my honor to hear stories about her from them.
I am ending this fellowship as a much better and more compassionate journalist and it’s all because of the people I met along the way: the sources who trusted me with their stories, the writers who helped me tell them, the editors who shaped them, and the good people at the IWMF who made all this possible. Thank you for following my journey through my fellowship.