tony gonzalez journalist
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Online portfolio and blog by Tony Gonzalez, family issues reporter for The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville. I married my high school sweetheart, Katie, a designer and bookbinder. I like juggling, maps, baseball, and bullmastiffs.

Two years at The Tennessean, July 2011 to present. Three years reporting and editing at The News Virginian, 2008 to 2011. Editor of college and high school newspapers. Internships at The Star Tribune, The Detroit News, and The Toledo Free Press. Chips Quinn Scholar 2007.

Tennessee Associated Press Managing Editors 2012 statewide Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting, as well as the Freedom of Information award, for Department of Children's Services project.

Gannett company-wide award 2012 for Watchdog Journalism

Associated Press Managing Editors 2010 International Perspective First Place for "The Borders Within," as well as Public Service Honorable Mention for investigation into troubled children's psychiatric hospital

2009 and 2010 winner, with staff, of the Virginia Press Association's highest award: the Award for Journalistic Integrity and Community Service.

Virginia Press Association 2008, 2009, and 2010 awards for crime, investigative, breaking news, and feature writing

2011 Robert Novak Fellow

Michigan Collegiate Press Association "Journalist of the Year" 2008

Chips Quinn Scholar, Class of 2007

Civil Rights Project DCS project
Borders Within Multimedia
Thursday, January 09, 2014
A different kind of notable deaths story

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One of the most interesting things I found during a year of close reading of the obits. These ran on back-to-back days. Both would be odd images for an obit — they're actually one photo, just cropped to the wrong person the first day.
Two years ago, I watched an editor spend almost a week digging through a year's worth of newspapers to assemble a list of notable deaths before the year was up. Last year, I basically duplicated that kind of last-minute effort.

In 2013, I started collecting obituaries on Jan. 1, in a manila envelope that soon grew fat. By the fall, I'd turned up a few beautiful obituaries written by families, and a collection of odd and endearing nicknames that families deemed worthy of inclusion in their remembrances.

Coupled with my recent reading of "The Dead Beat," about obituary writers (a book I've wanted to read for a couple years), I was primed for an end-of-the-year send up on the art of obit writing.

Here's what we delivered: two short narratives about families approaching obit writing and a lengthy round-up of notable deaths with an emphasis on unsung locals.

:: What to say when words don't come easy
:: When a nickname fits, it follows to the grave
:: Tennesseans who changed the world

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