Since 2013, I’ve highlighted my favorite articles that I’ve written each year—so here are my professional highlights of 2016, including my ten favorite stories I wrote over the year (see below).
Academically, I wrote and presented my thesis, before graduating from The University of Texas at Austin in May.
As a writer, I wrote hundreds of articles for more than a dozen different publications.
I started the year off reporting for the Austin Chronicle, where I wrote 20 news articles, mostly focusing on the city’s battle with Uber and Lyft.
After graduating, I interned over the summer with the Dallas Morning News‘ Editorial Board, where I wrote more than 40 opinion columns and editorials—many of which were also published around the country, from the Charlotte Observer to the Hawaii Tribune-Herald to the Sun Sentinel in Florida to the Albany Times Union to the Virgin Islands Daily News and a handful of other publications in between. Following the Dallas Ambush, I was interviewed on Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster, and SPIN 1038, a radio station in Dublin, Ireland. In August, I won the DMN‘s in-house writing award for Commentary and Criticism between April and June. My three winning entries (on sexual assault, Trump, and homophobia) made me the only intern to win an award.
After wrapping up my internship with the DMN, I started working as a news writer for Complex, where I wrote and aggregated 338 articles on just about anything and everything between September 1 and December 29, which was my last day with them.
Throughout the year, I continued to freelance music articles for the Dallas Observer and the Dallas Morning News’ GuideLive.
Below, in chronological order, I’ve hyperlinked ten of my articles that I’m most proud of from this year.
“Motivated by Sweaters, Dallas Rapper -topic Is on a Feel-Good Campaign” – Dallas Observer – February 10 – Music Article
Early in the year, I interviewed Dallas’ own So So Topic (aka -topic) about his project, My Favorite Sweaters. This article was only one of a handful of articles I wrote in 2016 about the local rapper.
“Open Carry: Boobs and Breasts – SXSW-timed open carry event overshadowed by toplessness” – Austin Chronicle – March 18 – News Article
By far the most entertaining story I’ve ever reported, I wrote about one of Austin’s weirder days, which included guns, breasts, sex toys, and a life-sized cross. This article was cited by Reason.
“All men must work to stop rape culture” – Seattle Times – June 9 – Opinion Column
This award-winning column, about the infamous case of Stanford’s Brock Turner and our “boys will be boys” culture, was published around the country.
“Trump is a drug — exhilarating, terrifying, and sure to bring a hangover” – Dallas Morning News – June 30 – Opinion Column
I wrote this column after attending Trump’s campaign rally in Dallas. While some of my writing on Trump didn’t turn out so well, I’m especially proud of this column, which was cited in The Atlantic by James Fallows.
“The segregated Second Amendment: America’s long history of unequal gun rights” – Dallas Morning News – July 7 – Opinion Column
I wrote about the tragic death of Philando Castile as well as the fact that black Americans don’t seem to have the same gun rights as white Americans.
“Campus carry is problematic, but not dangerous” – Dallas Morning News – July 18 – Opinion Column
Having previously extensively reported on campus carry, I argued that campus carry has had and will have negative consequences for the University of Texas at Austin, but that it won’t be all that dangerous.
“Cutting back on private prisons is progress, but we need to end mass incarceration” – Newsday – August 19 – Opinion Column
This column, which highlighted some of our criminal justice system’s problems, also appeared around the nation, including The Dallas Morning News, The La Crosse Tribune in Wisconsin, The South Bend Tribune in Indiana, The Intelligencer in Pennsylvania, and the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, among others.
“Sex toys in Austin expose the right’s hypocrisy on political correctness” – Dallas Morning News – August 25 – Opinion Column
Regardless of your opinion on campus carry, you can’t deny that #CocksNotGlocks brought international attention to the issue—and the reaction to the Cocks Not Glocks protest revealed exactly why it was so necessary.
“Chance the Rapper Preached His Hip-Hop Blessings at The Bomb Factory“ – Dallas Observer – October 17 – Concert Review
I’m incredibly passionate about the intersection of hip-hop and religion (which was the topic of my thesis), and I was already a longtime fan of Chance the Rapper—but nothing prepared me for just how gloriously sacred Lil Chano’s concert would be.
“Dallas is taking a RIGHT step on mental illness” – Dallas Morning News – December 28 – Editorial
Even after my internship, I still occasionally contribute to the Dallas Morning News, both as a columnist and on behalf of the Editorial Board. This is a topic that’s especially important to me, so I was glad to write about it on behalf of my hometown paper.