Today's featured journalist is Khristopher Brooks, education reporter with the Florida Times-Union! In his career thus far, Brooks has managed to cram many accomplishments into just a few years.
Before coming to Florida, Brooks was the higher education reporter for another publication -- the Omaha World-Herald, where he led their coverage of the University of Nebraska’s efforts to convert the former Nebraska State Fairgrounds into a world-class private/public research park, and also covered the Nebraska Community College System’s lengthy legal battle with Omaha’s Metropolitan Community College. A 2006 Chips Quinn Scholar, Brooks is also a former NYTimes.com and Associated Press writer, and his byline has been published in newspapers and magazines across the country.
But he began his journalism career in 2000 as a varsity sports reporter for his high school newspaper in Romulus, Mich, later honing his skills in graduate school while obtaining his master's degree in Literary Reportage from New York University (and also while in NYC, freelancing for Capital New York and AOL/Patch.com)! However, Brooks first full-time journalism job was as the business, K-12 and higher education reporter for the Bristol (Va.) Herald Courier, where he gained notoriety in 2007 after reporting how Bristol school officials released a controversial letter attached to Virginia Middle School students' report cards. That same year, he won second place in education writing from the Virginia Press Association for a pair of well-written articles on the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
As for what it means to be a journalist, Brooks pulled no punches: "It means you spend life gathering the most important news for your readers to know on a given day. It also means you'll probably be poor." Don't miss the chance to read a sampling of his work here, in his Muck Rack portfolio.