Chances are you never heard of journalist Michelle Chen before she started writing for The NewStandard last October, and even if you're a regular TNS reader, her byline may not have stood out, attached as it has been to a series of articles on relatively less "sexy" topics. But we are thrilled to have her reporting for us, as she is doubtless one of the best reporters we have ever worked with. In addition to being hard-working, thorough and professional with an excellent eye for important angles and an ear for crucial voices, Michelle produces writing that is simply a pleasure to read.
Case in point: her most recent story, "Poor Communities and Advocates Fight Tax-time Deception," published this morning. The subject -- the struggle against predatory lending in the form of high-interest tax refund advances -- may appear mundane at first glance. I have to admit, if I saw it in another publication, I might not even read past the first paragraph. But Michelle has a way of helping the reader grasp the relevance of the subject matter she reports, and her writing style is captivating enough to bring nearly any content to life.
If you have not taken a serious look at Michelle Chen's reporting, I strongly recommend you do so. Her work is usually longer and more elaborate than our typical pieces, but in each case she infuses vitality into her work. We stand by it as exemplary of the kind of journalism we strive to produce and are proud to achieve as often as we do with the help of so many exceptional journalists.