Tiffany Cusaac-SmithNewsday general assignment firstname.lastname@example.org
All these years later, I can still remember spreading out the newspaper across the foyer of my Westchester home as a child and closely examining its contents. From those pages, I clipped articles for my current events assignment and seeded questions for my close-knit extended family.
But the idea of a career in journalism congealed with my love of film and reading much later when a chance encounter at Howard University’s WHUT-TV led me to join the student television station, the Spotlight Network. (I was looking for the film club booth.) There, I wrote, produced and edited stories across the nation’s capital, leading to internships and a career that has brought me to newsrooms including USA Today and Newsday, where I’m a general assignment reporter.
At Newsday, I look forward to continuing to tell interesting, nuanced stories about this Island, which I see as a complex and diverse place.
The through-line of my career has been people and their stories, even when I wasn’t a news reporter. As a judicial clerk in metro Atlanta, I worked closely with judges on a variety of cases, but what stood out were the people. The domestic violence victims who arrived at the court, the people at the eviction hearings and moreover, how poverty can become linked with the ability to get justice, a message that would follow me back into journalism.
I also worked at The Associated Press in Atlanta and the Journal News in Westchester. As the Yonkers reporter for the Journal News, I wanted community voices and accountability to be centered as I reported on climate change, development, education, health and issues of diversity.
After that, I became the race and justice reporter for the USA Today Network of New York, reporting on issues such as marijuana legalization, health care and criminal justice reforms in the state Legislature. I also focused on issues that were important to communities of color, including missing Black youth in Buffalo to police diversity in Westchester.
At Newsday, I look forward to continuing to tell interesting, nuanced stories about this Island, which I see as a complex and diverse place. After I finish my assignments, I enjoy writing my stories at the library, where I can get a sense of different communities. If you see me around, stop by and say hello.