Jan. 19, 2020
Biola University alumna Michelle Rindels ('09) was named one of the best state political reporters in a recent list from The Washington Post. She made the newspaper’s "Top Reporters by State" list on Jan. 28, 2015, for her work as a reporter at the Associated Press (AP) Nevada bureau.
“It was an honor to be named to the list along with some of my greatest role models at the Nevada state house,” said Rindels. “The legislative session is just getting started, and I'm going to do my best to live up to that billing.”
While a student at Biola, Rindels was editor-in-chief of The Chimes, Biola’s student newspaper, and graduated with a double major in journalism and Spanish. Rindels earned a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund internship upon graduating Biola, which led to an AP internship at the Los Angeles bureau in 2009. Four months later, she was hired by The Union Newspaper in Nevada where she reported on the Nevada County government. The following year, Rindels received her first AP job in Nevada and received statewide attention for her reporting on a local plane crash.
“What stood out to me the most about Michelle was that she loved a challenge. Tell her it was tough, that a few people could do it — and she was all over it,” said Michael Longinow, Biola journalism professor. “Under Rindels' watch, The Chimes was hard-working and driven. And people caught her work ethic, mirroring it in the newsroom.”
Reporters named to the "Top Reporters by State" list were chosen almost entirely by contributors and readers of The Washington Post political blog, "The Fix." Rindels' knack for producing compelling and insightful coverage is one of the reasons she continues to recieve statewide attention, according to Longinow.
“My time at Biola was essential for preparing me for this job. Working at The Chimes did so much to build my confidence and get me ready for tight deadlines,” said Rindels. “I'm most grateful for wonderful professors who took time to encourage me, recommend me for internships and set the groundwork for my career at AP.”
In addition to her role at AP, Rindels also represents the Southwest on the board of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), and is a past president of the group's Nevada chapter.
In an interview with NAHJ, Rindels stated that covering politics is difficult, in that a journalist must always keep their guard up to ensure he or she is not not being used as a tool for a campaign.
“You have to be shrewd — hold people accountable, not let them get away with vagueness or half-truths, understand the many motivations that play into every vote,” said Rindels.
Rindels said her goal in making a career in journalism, particularly regarding the demands of reporting political news, is to extract the truth from powerful people in order to properly advocate and serve the public as best as she can.
“Michelle’s a rock star, but she is … humble and unassuming,” said Longinow. “She gives God all the glory for who she is and what she does, and it’s so refreshing.”
To stay up to date with Michelle and AP Nevada you can find her on Twitter at @RindelsAP.
Find out more about Biola’s Department of Journalism and Integrated Media.
Written by Kayla Joy Mele, iBiola reporter. For more information, contact Jenna Loumagne, media relations specialist, at 562.777.4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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