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Where Are They Now? Former Charlottesville Tomorrow Reporter Josh Mandell

Where has life taken you since leaving Charlottesville Tomorrow?

After leaving Charlottesville Tomorrow, I made a career pivot into grant writing. Today, I’m fundraising for nonprofit news as the grants manager at the Forward, America’s oldest and most prominent Jewish news organization. The Forward’s office is in New York City, but I usually work from my home near Princeton, N.J. When I’m not working, I enjoy running and birding in my local parks (hence the binoculars in this photo).

How did working at Charlottesville Tomorrow help you in your career?

Being a reporter at Charlottesville Tomorrow was my first “real job” out of college. I am grateful to have been trusted with a high level of independence and responsibility that early in my career. I sharpened my writing and editing skills, and I got pretty comfortable with hard deadlines — all very important for grant writing and many other jobs! I hope to have a long career in nonprofit news or other areas of the media industry. I will always bring my perspective as a former local news reporter to my work.

What was your favorite part of working at Charlottesville Tomorrow?

I was born and raised in the Charlottesville area, so I loved getting an inside view of the local government and schools that shaped my upbringing, and hopefully giving something back to my hometown through my reporting.

What is your outlook for the future of local journalism?

It’s been encouraging to see that local journalism recently has been getting more support from foundations, and from wealthy, civic-minded businesspeople in major cities (like Patrick Soon-Shiong, owner of the Los Angeles Times; and Stewart Bainum, founder of the new Baltimore Banner). However, local journalism in smaller communities is facing an economic crisis that will be very difficult to solve. Charlottesville has a relatively healthy local news environment, with Charlottesville Tomorrow leading the way. But we should never take that for granted.