Column: Hire Me

As I look to the future, I’m grateful for what I’ve learned at the Daily.

by Grace Thomas

Hello, my name is Grace Thomas and I’ve worked at the Minnesota Daily since the fall of 2014 as a reporter, web editor, and now my current position as the editor of the Editorials and Opinions section. This is my last piece of any kind for the Daily, and I’ve decided to use the space I have left in this paper I hold so close to my heart to pitch myself to the world and speak to what I’ve learned during my time here.

My first day as a reporter was two weeks after the death of my mentor, Dominic Postiglione. He gave me my first job at the Source Comics and Games (now in Roseville, then in Falcon Heights) when I was 14. I had moved back to Minneapolis that summer from Long Island after a classmate of mine had assaulted me and my claims were met with very little response from my former school’s administration. Dominic was a rock for me during that most difficult time in my life, then he was gone.

So when I first came to the Daily, I was adrift. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be there, or if I would be able to handle it.

I was met by an organization filled with witty, skilled and most of all principled reporters, editors and everything else that you need to make a newspaper with the earned reputation of the Daily.

My copy was shredded to pieces and built up from the ground, my understanding of ethics in journalism was expanded and reinforced and I learned how to meet the sometimes strenuous expectations laid out in front of me. But I think what I’ve learned most from working at the Daily is the radical empathy required to not just be a top-notch journalist, but a fully realized adult.

Jessica Lee, former managing editor of the Daily, current reporter for the Seattle Times, taught me many invaluable lessons, but most of all she taught me to listen to everybody like they have something important to say, because chances are, with all things considered, they probably do.

I think that is the most important thing you can do as a journalist and as a creative person, and it is the ideal I strive to reach every day.

I’ve learned how to deal with data management systems, write a brief in ten minutes and calm down a source who is angry at you for printing exactly what they said, and many more skills. But the principled perspective, the ethical mindset and the understanding of the amount of work that needs to be done to produce quality, well-reported pieces will always be a part of the person that I am.

My coworkers have supported me at every turn, coming out to my dumb comedy shows, not blinking an eye when I announced I was transitioning and always working with me to create content we are proud of, and that makes a positive impact on our campus and larger community.

The perspective I’ve formed here could be invaluable to a number of different types of work, but what I’m looking for is a company that is interested in telling stories for the same reasons we do so at the Daily. To inform our neighbors, near and far, of the world around them with the nuance and variety of voices they need to have as open and curious a perspective as we gain in our reporting.

If that sounds like someone you’d like to have around your office, send an email to [email protected] explaining why that’s the case.

Thank you all for reading this, thank you to everyone who I’ve ever worked with at the Daily, especially Jessica Lee, Cody Nelson, Marion Renault, Dylan Scott, Josh Jones, Tyler Gieseke, Haley Hansen and Jared Hemming, and thank you to everyone who came before us and built this institution into what it is today. I know I’m going to miss it, but I also know that I’m going to carry it with me every day.