I’m super excited to announce that on Sept. 1, the Downtown Community Paper will have a new editor, Tommy Cardinal.
When I started this paper in September 2017, it was always my intention for the paper’s editor to be someone who was embedded in downtown life. I believe, for a community paper to have a heart, its editor needs to be woven into the community. After the editor who started with me went in a different direction in 2018, I’ve been filling in while looking for the perfect fit.
A senior journalism student at UCF, Tommy interned for us back in the summer of 2018. After a semester of having him on board, I knew I needed to find a way to keep him on even though I totally couldn’t afford it. I’d never hired an intern before because our budget is super small, but he was that big of an asset.
Tommy began his college career in 2012 in Tallahassee and planned on majoring in aerospace engineering. After graduating with his A.A. degree, he transferred to UCF and began working toward his intended bachelor’s degree. After struggling through some pretty hardcore math courses, he started to realize this might not be the best path for him.
I know what you’re thinking: How does an aerospace-engineering major switch gears to journalism?
Tommy’s college job at the time was delivering pizzas. It was while spending hours upon hours driving in his car that he discovered NPR and ended up listening to it exclusively. He couldn’t get enough and decided he wanted to be a part of that world. He realized journalism was a much better path for his self-proclaimed “hippie” spirit.
(Side note: The first story Tommy ever pitched for DCP was on Wall Street banning plastic straws. Sustainability is his jam.)
Now at UCF and with several years of college already under his belt, Tommy had to essentially start over.
Fast forward to 2019.
Tommy has so impressed me with not only his competency and professionalism, but with his passion for really diving in and telling the stories about the people, businesses and organizations that make Downtown such a vibrant place to live, work and play. He has more than proven himself worthy of the job as editor.
Tommy has spent the last year getting to know Downtown, and many of you have already gotten to know him. He will be moving here at the end of this month and is excited to take on this new role and get to know more of his new neighbors. Be sure to welcome him when you see him around. He’s the opposite of shy and would love to meet you!