Lindsey Nair reports and writes columns about food. She’s developed quite a following on her blog, Fridge Magnet.
Before taking on that role in March 2007. Lindsey covered the police and court beats.
Hometown: I was born in Culpeper and lived in Nebraska and Colorado as a young child, but we moved to Clifton Forge, Va. in 1984 and I graduated from Alleghany High School, so I consider Clifton Forge my hometown.
College: Roanoke College
Why journalism: As an English major, I was encouraged to obtain a teaching certification. But during my senior year, I came to realize that I didn’t like teaching and didn’t want to be stuck inside a building all day. I happened to be taking a couple of journalism electives, and I fell in love with the idea of a career that would allow me to do what I loved best – write – and make a little money while doing it. It wasn’t long before I realized that my real job was to ask questions and obtain answers on behalf of my community, thus informing citizens in a way that hopefully makes their lives more meaningful.
Years in journalism: 12
Years at The Roanoke Times | roanoke.com: 12
Proudest journalism accomplishments: I suppose I’m most proud of my role in a series of stories in 2003 that exposed the underreporting of school violence in the Roanoke City School System. In the middle of all that, my anonymous source, school resource officer Butch Lewis, was removed from a job he loved and reassigned to traffic patrol. When Todd Jackson and I reported that development, it was met with such an outcry from the public that Lewis was eventually returned to his original position. Along with improved violence reporting and communication between the city school system and police department, those are the kinds of results that make me proud to be a journalist. I’m also proud of other work that resulted in awards, as well as my role in multimedia journalism on Roanoke.com – namely, the experimental Timescast, my food blog and our new food microsite, PlateUp.
Having said all that, I’ll tell you that I have this quote by Harold Jonathan Rothermere pinned to the bulletin board above my desk: “You’re only as good as your last story.” It is not meant to belittle the work of the past; only to remind me that I should never rest on my laurels.
Journalists you admire and why: I admire any journalist who still performs this job because he or she believes it is a service to the community and not a path to greatness. I admire any journalist who does the work to promote fairness and understanding, not rancorous debate. And I admire any journalist who can embrace the Internet as an important part of the future of our industry without letting it erode the basic ethics upon which our credibility relies.
Web sites you visit regularly: Roanoke.com, Slashfood, Serious Eats, CHOW, Simply Recipes, The Washington Post, The Onion, The Comics Curmudgeon, Goodreads, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.
Favorites books: This one is so difficult, but some of my favorites are the James Herriott series, Roald Dahl’s children’s books, “Turn of the Screw,” “The Good Soldier,” “Jane Eyre,” “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” “She’s Come Undone,” “Devil in the White City” and “Kiss of the Spider Woman.” My guilty pleasure reading includes anything by Stephen King or Patricia Cornwell. I’m a sucker for a good murder mystery.
Favorite movies: I don’t really have a favorite movie. I guess my favorite old movie is “Citizen Kane,” my favorite movie as a kid was “Goonies” and the best movie I’ve seen recently was “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”
Interests outside of work: My husband, Howard, our dog and cats, cooking (I guess that’s inside and outside work), reading, trying to garden, and listening to new music. Oh, and lately I’m addicted to “Mad Men.”