TRAVERSE CITY — The Record-Eagle welcomed six new reporters and editors to the newsroom over the past several months.
New staff members include veteran journalists who’ve won numerous awards at daily newspapers in Michigan and elsewhere, as well as talented young reporters and writers who joined the Record-Eagle after launching their careers at smaller newspapers.
The Record-Eagle’s newest staff members include:
Matt Troutman, who joined the Record-Eagle as a staff writer in March 2013. He’s from Lake Station, Ind., and attended Valparaiso University for undergraduate studies. In 2009, Troutman received a Master’s degree from Indiana University’s School of Journalism.
He spent a year volunteering with a Bloomington, Ind., public access news program before being hired by the Frankfort Times as a police reporter. He was transferred to the Marion Chronicle-Tribune, another Indiana newspaper, where he covered business and local government beat and won journalism awards from the Hoosier State Press Association and Indiana Associated Press Managing Editors.
Troutman covers criminal justice and general assignment stories with the Record-Eagle. He may be contacted at 933-1429 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nathan Payne joined the Record-Eagle in July 2013 after working for eight years at the Gillette News Record, a daily newspaper in Gillette, Wyo. Payne is a graduate of Central Michigan University’s journalism program.
Payne worked as a photojournalist, then photo editor in Gillette. His photos won state, regional and national awards while he helped the newspaper build its Internet products with his videography. He subsequently was named City Editor.
In January, two of his stories won first place in both the “news feature” and “feature” categories in the Wyoming Press Association’s annual competition. Payne’s previous newspaper work included freelance photography for the Lansing State Journal near his hometown of Charlotte. During college he interned with the Kalamazoo Gazette and worked freelance assignments for the Midland Daily News.
Payne joined the Record-Eagle in July as Features editor. He may be reached at 933-1477 or at email@example.com.
Staff writer Michelle Merlin was born and raised in Avon, Conn. She received her first taste of the Midwest in college, when she moved to Missouri to attend Washington University in St. Louis and became editor of the student newspaper, Student Life. Merlin graduated in 2012, returned to Connecticut, and reported for the Register Citizen in Torrington, Conn.
She moved to Washington, D.C. to intern for the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit that tracks lobbying and campaign finance money. She spent another six months interning for Environment & Energy Publishing’s Greenwire, a publication that covers environmental and energy policy and markets.
Merlin started with the Record-Eagle in October 2013, and is a general assignment reporter. She may be reached at 933-1416 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staff writer and editor Allison Batdorff was born in Southfield and earned her journalism degree from Central Michigan University. Batdorff’s award-winning newspaper credentials include general assignment reporting with the Manistee News Advocate; heading the Billings (Mont.) Gazette’s Wyoming Bureau; and covering the largest overseas Navy base for Stars and Stripes.
Batdorff accepted reporting special special assignments in Iraq, Thailand, Kuwait and Germany and worked as a newspaper correspondent in Cape Cod, Mass. and in McMurdo Station, Antarctica. She is a Returned Peace Corps volunteer, certified SCUBA diver and mother. She joined the Record-Eagle in January as a Features staff writer and is editor of the paper’s Grand Traverse Scene magazine.
Batdorff also is a distant relative of the Batdorff family who for decades owned the Record-Eagle before selling the newspaper in the 1970s. She may be reached at 933-1468 or at email@example.com.
Sarah Elms joined the Record-Eagle this month as a general assignment reporter. She came to Traverse City from Gillette, Wyo., where she worked as a reporter covering health, lifestyles and community events for the Gillette News Record. Prior to her work in Gillette, she worked as a reporter for Stry.us, a long-form storytelling start-up based in Springfield, Mo.
Elms graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis., in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She was born and raised in the Midwest and is happy to be back near Lake Michigan. She may be reached at 933-1488 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carol Thompson also joined the Record-Eagle in February as a general assignment reporter. Thompson is from Midland and started her journalism career there at the Dow High Update, before she moved on to journalism school at Michigan State University.
During college she wrote for EJ Magazine, was an intern at The Daily Green and the Leelanau Enterprise, and worked for Great Lakes Echo.
She graduated in 2012 with a double major in journalism and environmental studies, then went to work for Peninsula Pulse, a weekly newspaper in Door County, Wis. Last August she attended the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources Mining Country Institute. Thompson may be reached at 933-1490 or at email@example.com.