What a two months it has been! Local elections are in full swing, which is a helluva time to join a newspaper staff.
Since I started the reporting fellowship in early September, I’ve had the privilege of working with my INDY colleagues on a couple of election-related items. The first was our endorsements for the Durham municipal elections. Writing the By The Horns newsletter for the last year proved to be useful when trying to sift through the static coming from the various corners of Durham discourse. INDY endorsements have significant influence in Durham (I’ve been told) and so I took the responsibility of helping guide those discussions seriously.
Following that piece, I was given the challenge of distilling the events that sparked a short-lived but impactful work stoppage by Solid Waste employees. Folks who have been reading By The Horns won’t be surprised. Departments across the city have been making noise this summer about a need for increased pay. Coupled with the ongoing elections and the exoneration of Councilor Holsey-Hyman, my original assignment to cover a worker’s rally at City Hall evolved into what became the INDY cover story on October 4: an analysis of state rules regarding strikes and public sector employees, the city’s need to raise tax rates in service of raising wages and improving public services, and the impact public engagement around these issue had on the election.
Developing this piece was a crash course on how to build a comprehensive story arc. I’m grateful to have the support of my editors to pursue a 2,600 behemoth my first month on the job. With more reps, I hope to get better at doing the bite-sized stories, too. You know how much I like my long form.
A Self-Indulgent Birthday Celebration
On Friday, I’m making my triumphant and long-overdue return to the podcast studio for a birthday Ask Me Anything edition of The Buddy Ruski Show.
The episode will be a grab bag of updates and responses to your burning questions about any and all of the following: writing, podcasting, life in Durham, my time at RUNAWAY, and for my birthday brother Eli, my all-time Duke basketball starting 5.
Thanks for supporting local journalism in all its forms. Excited to be back at the mic.
Editor's Note: The form permissions are now fixed.