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February 11, 2005

Excellence in Reporting

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.


Meeshell: Excellence in Reporting

I wholeheartedly agree. Someone give that woman a book contract!

Actually, I just wanted to take this opportunity to express humble gratitude to TNS for taking a chance on me and other novice reporters--providing guidance and insight throughout the editorial process. As you can see from the way the publication has evolved and matured, it's been a learning experience for everyone involved, contributors and readers alike. I hope that, buoyed by good faith, it continues to to fill a gap in the news media with courage and integrity.

And I received no financial compensation whatsoever for this testimonial.

jenahjane: Excellence in Reporting

This report, and others on this issue, draw my attention because I work for a tax company that offers these types of loans. I offer them to my clients on a daily basis. It's true that most of the recipients of this kind of loan are getting refunds from the earned income credit. It's true that these loans are extremely expensive and unnecessary. I always make sure my clients understand exactly what they are paying for and what they are getting for their money. However, these tax companies offer this because this attracts clients. These people come in to these companies for quick money;even if it is more expensive, using money that they really did not have to physically put an effort in to earn makes it easier to say yes to these outrageous loans. While I agree in essence in what organizations like ACORN are trying to do and articles like the one noted here are saying, writers and activists could make better use of their energies if they focused on teaching those vulnerable to these kind of loans on money management. The company I work for offers all customers information on how to better manage money. Most poor people turn down the advice.

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The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.