Seattle native Alex Kratz of the Norwood News gives many words of wisdom to aspiring journalists of the Bronx Beat. After majoring in creative writing at American University, Kratz went on to write for a paper in Los Angeles, California, where he lived for a period of time. He also worked at the South Seattle Star in Seattle prior to coming to live and work in LA. He has bounced around the nation from paper to paper, accumulating wisdom and experience throughout his career.
Now Editor-in-Chief for the Norwood News, the passionate Kratz has written in a variety of venues. He is a reporter as well as a writer. He not only assigns the jobs, he also has to edit and give revisions. The Norwood News is a bi-weekly, non-profit organization.
Kratz reminisced to the Bronx Beat reporters about one of his first assignments. Kratz attended community meetings where he gathered a lot of information for the newspaper.
He told reporters how his first assignment was to go to a community board meeting and sit in to get information, but when he arrived the board members told him that he couldn’t be in the meeting. Kratz was upset with the situation, however, he didn’t back down. He refused to leave and kept telling board members that he was verified to be there. Kratz told the Bronx Beat that he called the Freedom Hotline, and asked if he could actually be in the meeting. Kratz came to find out that there was actually a loophole and then finally got kicked out.
After telling his experience, Kratz told the aspiring journalists,“You should always be asking why.” Kratz then added by saying “that’s how you cultivate your story.” The young journalists were curious on how to write a “good” report so Kratz responded by saying “The more details you can give, the more credibility you have in that story.”
Although Kratz enjoys his job at the Norwood News, he says ”I do not see myself being there forever though.” He then added that he might work for a different newspaper or a magazine and that young Kratz, who used to bounce from place to place, is not entirely gone. “Journalism jobs are scarce” says Kratz in reference to the field. He also adds,
In addition to being Editor-in-chief at the Norwood News, Kratz runs a high school journalism program for aspiring journalists and he encourages youth journalists to get ahead. “It’s like exercising, the more you do it, the stronger you’re going to be at it,” says Kratz. Throughout the years Kratz has shown great interest and deep dedication to the journalism field. He left the Bronx Beat reporters with a reminder. “Its not as easy as it was… that doesn’t mean you can’t do it.”