A Reporter At Large: New anthology highlights a decade of Tacoma journalism

A new anthology published this month revisits some of the people and stories that have appeared in the pages of a local Tacoma newspaper over the past ten years.

A Reporter At Large: A Decade of Tacoma Interviews, Feature Articles, and Photographs by Todd Matthews is an e-book collection of thirty-six journalism pieces first published in the Tacoma Daily Index between September 2004 (when Matthews was hired as the newspaper’s editor/reporter/photographer) and September 2014.

“It’s the nature of daily newspaper journalism for articles to appear briefly in print or online before they are quickly buried by the next day’s headlines,” says Matthews. “This e-book captures some of the memorable stories I have written over the past decade at the newspaper.”

Notable stories collected in the book include a profile of irreverent political cartoonist R. R. Anderson, who skewers local elected officials while entertaining the masses; Steven Nikolich’s effort to re-open a rural bank in Buckley that was once the site of a dramatic heist and shootout during the 1920s; an interview with local blogger Jack Cameron, who memorializes Tacoma’s homicide victims; a series charting the path of Sun King, a once-ridiculed, three-ton piece of public art, as it is moved out of storage after seven years and placed prominently in a waterfront park, thanks to a grassroots effort; a pair of historians from Artifacts Consulting racing to document Pierce County’s old barns and homesteads before the buildings are razed by developers; and a series of interviews with tenants of the Winthrop Hotel in downtown Tacoma — nearly 100 years after it opened, the former four-star hotel is now a crumbling high-rise and home to some of Tacoma’s most vulnerable residents.

The Tacoma Daily Index is a legal newspaper that was founded more than 100 years ago in Tacoma, Wash., on May 1, 1890.

In 2007, Matthews earned the award for Outstanding Achievement in Media from the Washington State Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation for his journalism at the Tacoma Daily Index. In addition to his work at the newspaper, Matthews has been an award-winning freelance journalist nearly 20 years, writing for such publications as Seattle Magazine, Seattle Business Monthly, Washington CEO, and Washington Law & Politics, among others. His journalism is collected online at wahmee.com.

A Reporter At Large: A Decade of Tacoma Interviews, Feature Articles, and Photographs is available as an e-book online at amazon.com and wahmee.com.