Props to mag contributors Michael Kruse and Mike Giglio

Just wanted to pass along some good news about former and hopefully future Charlotte mag contributors Michael Kruse and Mike Giglio.

Readers may remember Michael Kruse for his fantastic, award-winning stories on Stephen Curry and NASCAR, among other excellent pieces for Charlotte magazine and Mike Giglio wrote several great and award-winning stories for the mag and the website. He wrote about life in Fayetteville during wartime and how bad his first year in Charlotte was. His piece on Charlotte investment bankers presaged the financial crash. He profiled controversial preacher Michael Brown and ultimate fighter Rodney Wallace, and he told us why he was ditching for Charlotte for South America (he detoured to New York, which you’ll see in a moment). He told us about cougar hunting. And yes, he wrote about Stephen Curry.

Kruse, who is a staff writer for the excellent St. Petersburg Times, recently won one of journalism’s most prestigious writing awards. For a portfolio of five pieces, he received the Distinguished Writing Award for nondeadline writing from the American Society of News Editors. Past winners of this shiny thing include heavy hitters such as Rick Bragg and David Finkel. "I’m extremely fortunate to work where I work and to sit where I sit," the always-unassuming Michael wrote me. "The St. Petersburg Times ‘enterprise team’ has five reporters. There’s a Pulitzer winner and two Pulitzer finalists and now two ASNE winners. That’s the bar. I’m just trying to keep up." Of the winning articles, my favorite is probably the absolutely withering takedown of former Florida Republican Party chair Jim Greer. Kruse reported the hell out of the story, then simply laid out the facts. He also profiled a monkey on the loose, a story that gained national attention as much for its craft as its subject.

Giglio, whose work for us probably inspired more letters-per-story than any writer I’ve edited in my sixteen years here at the mag, is a reporter and researcher for Newsweek. He recently shared a byline on a cover story about the uprising in Egypt ("Rage Against the Regime") and in the following issue wrote the lead feature, "Facebook Freedom Fighter." In covering the Tunisian revolts, he asked if Egypt was next. It was. He was the first reporter to learn that Google marketing executive Wael Ghonim was the man behind the Facebook page that helped spark the revolution in Egypt.

I asked Giglio about his Newsweek experiences, and what ever happened to his planned escape to South America that he so colorfully outlined in his piece for us, "Ballad of a Dirtbag." This is what he told me: "If you’re going to make bold proclamations about giving up on the American Dream and moving to South America to become an exciting freelancer-dirtbag bard, in print, and then punk out on those proclamations shortly afterward, try and do it all the way. I live in a nice part of Brooklyn. This morning I put on an embarrassing spandex yuppie suit and went jogging in the park. I wore a J. Crew sweater to work. And I’ve been writing about South America and other exotic locales while eating deli sandwiches at my desk." Reporting on revolutions has not cost him his sense of humor.

Michael and Mike are both young (and, incidentally, Davidson grads), and we can expect more great things from them. And hopefully, you’ll see their bylines a few more times in good ol’ Charlotte mag. (Consider that my plea not to forget the little people.)

Categories: The Buzz, Trade & Tryon, Trade & Tryon > Media