Glenwood Springs Post Independent welcomes Thomas Phippen as new reporter
Thomas Phippen joins the Glenwood Springs Post Independent as its newest reporter, having spent the last two years in a reporting fellowship covering news and politics from the nation’s capitol.
Phippen grew up on the Front Range of Colorado in the small town of Sedalia south of Denver, and attended Arapahoe Community College in Littleton before heading off to Hillsdale College in Michigan.
For the PI, his reporting work will delve into local government, area schools and education, public lands issues, and cops and courts coverage. We asked Thomas a few questions as a way of introducing him to PI readers:
What kind of work were you doing immediately before this job, and what did you like about that experience?
I just finished a two-year fellowship with The Daily Caller News Foundation in Washington, D.C., where I reported on politics, government fraud and a host of other topics. I loved the process of investigating and discovering the most relevant and important aspects of a story, whether I was tracking down contract fraud in Afghanistan or interviewing distillers for an obituary of whiskey legend Parker Beam.
What was your college major, and why?
I studied history because at one point I wanted to become a professor of Medieval studies. But once I got my bachelor’s degree I was ready for a long break from coursework, so moved to D.C. and went into communications instead.
What attracted you to journalism?
I think in the back of my mind, I always wanted to write. I wrote for college newspapers, but never thought I could make a career out of journalism. After a year or so in the world of D.C. public relations, I realized I would be a lot happier on the other side of the phone. To me, reporting is a way to learn about the world, and gives me a chance to connect with others, an opportunity to share important stories and issues with a community.
What brought you back to Colorado?
No matter where I go, I always expect to return to Colorado. But one of the things that brought me back to the Rockies this time is family. I spent most of 2018 living in North Carolina (writing remotely for my fellowship) helping to care for my 90-year-old grandfather, who suffered a debilitating stroke earlier this year. I helped him move to a more permanent situation in Colorado, and being in the same state as him made sense.
What do you look forward to most in your new position with the Glenwood Springs Post Independent?
I can’t wait to live and work around people who love the mountains as much as I do. The region is so rich in natural beauty and diverse people, I can’t wait to get to know the area.
And in your free time?
Hiking, running, just being outdoors. Reading, adding to my vinyl collection. I’ve fronted a couple of prog rock cover bands and been a part of countless choirs.
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