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
Saturday, September 06, 2014
The making of a teen magician
By Tony Gonzalez
The Tennesssean

David Torres is in the business of leaving people speechless.

Dressed most days in a brightly colored tie and vest, the teenager confounds anyone who will watch with his growing repertoire of magic tricks, puppetry, juggling and one particularly animated eyebrow.

He's learning to be as quick with a joke as he is with a deck of playing cards, which he pulls from one of a seemingly infinite number of hidden pockets. Where he finds his quick wit — that's harder to say.

But Torres, just 14 years old, seems to have unlocked these elusive talents thanks to an intriguing combination: inspiration from his parents, nurturing from leaders in his neighborhood and the happy coincidence that his family ended up in Nashville.

Where all of this energy ends up taking him is anyone's guess. It has the potential to lead to scholarships at some point, and that could be crucial to his future.

That's because Torres faces a path filled with obstacles. He falls into the category of a "dreamer," a child born elsewhere but brought to America by undocumented parents early in life. For the moment he is a beneficiary of the Obama administration's "deferred action" policy, which protects young people like him from deportation, but the national immigration debate remains unsettled.

Because he does not have citizenship, Torres can't qualify for federal financial aid, making scholarships that much more important.

But as he walks the halls of school each week, that's not what drives him to put on a show.

Read the full story at


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