Photo by Katharine Lotze.
All throughout college, I was told that trying to break into the journalism field with just a diploma would be a challenge. But those people underestimated the degree to which I’m willing to work.
Puns aside, my name is Luke Money and I am a graduate with a degree in journalism from the University of Arizona. During my four years at the UA, I worked at two daily publications: the Arizona Daily Wildcat, the UA’s student newspaper, and the Arizona Daily Star, the major daily newspaper in Tucson, Ariz. I started at the Wildcat as a reporter, covering student government, science and anything else I could get my hands on. I later served as the paper’s news editor. Throughout my time as an editor I constantly challenged my reporters to not accept mediocrity and always push themselves to be better, think more critically and write with their audience in mind.
As the news editor at the Daily Wildcat, I coordinated coverage for the Jan. 8 shooting of then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, including writing several follow-up and deadline pieces as the story continued to develop. I also covered the resignation of the UA’s president and provost (both during the same summer) and a controversial student body election of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, where both presidential candidates were disqualified for campaign violations. I also covered the Arizona Board of Regents for more than a year, live tweeting and keeping a constantly updated live blog of board meetings.
I served as the editor in chief of the Daily Wildcat from January until I graduated, and oversaw rapid growth in its online readership and reach. I made moves to shift the paper away from its print paradigm and change the culture of the newsroom to be one that more closely mirrors the realities of today’s journalism: A fast-paced, online-first focus bolstered by a comprehensive social media strategy. This past semester, the Wildcat saw dramatic growth in its social media platforms and set new highs for online readership.
At the Star, I worked in the downtown metro office, covering local politics. The first article I wrote for the Starwas featured on the paper’s front page. I was also part of the paper’s coverage of the 2010 elections, and covered two of Arizona’s legislative districts. I was at ground zero for the paper on election night, making calls and filing stories as the results came in.
I was also the managing editor of The Tombstone Epitaph, a regularly published paper that covers topics in the city of Tombstone, Ariz., a.k.a. “the town too tough to die.” I wrote stories, took photos, designed pages and got dustier than I care to admit, but I learned what it’s like to work as a journalist in a small town.
Now, like the pioneers of old, I too am moving west to seek my fortune in California. As a political reporter for the Santa Clarita Signal, I will be responsible for providing up-to-date and extensive coverage on local city, county, state and national politics for the area.