Driven by a profound sense of wonder and curiosity, humbled by the myriad people and cultures of the world…
As a student in the multimedia journalism program in the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture at Virginia Commonwealth University my focus was on state and local politics. I reported for Capital News Service at VCU — a wire service covering the Va. General Assembly for small daily and weekly papers across Virginia. I also produced radio packages as an intern for WCVE, 88.9 FM, an NPR affiliate in Richmond, Va.
After graduating in 2015 I promptly began working for the Fauquier Times, a midsize weekly paper nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and just outside the sprawling suburbs of Northern Virginia. As the public safety reporter for a struggling community newspaper I honed my craft connecting with my neighbors and their families in the only way I know — human to human, with compassion and grace.
I wept with mothers who lost their teenage children to heroin addiction.
I spent hours, days and weeks knee-to-knee with fathers, sisters and brothers in the circuit court gallery as men stood trial for murder.
I listened intently to an emergency radio scanner for 911 dispatchers to call firetrucks and rescue crews to house fires and fatal car wrecks.
I became more connected to our shared world and the beautiful people in it with every new neighbor I met and every story I hammered out at my desk or in my car — flipping through notes, photos, videos and recordings.
I poured all of my being into each deadline and I will never be the same again.
Thanks for visiting,
Michael S. Melkonian