Alumnus to be recognized for local stories

In the world of journalism, stories focus on global and national news. Tuning into local news is a way to find out what is affecting the regional community.

Matt Hose writes for The Ark Newspaper, a local print-only publication in Marin County.

Matt Hose, a 2015 graduate of the University of San Diego, has embarked on a journey toward educating individuals within his community through local news stories. Since 2016, Hose has been working for Marin County’s “The Ark Newspaper” which covers the cities of Tiburon and Belvedere in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Hose explained that he was unsure if he wanted to pursue a career in journalism after graduation. However, after he interviewed with the current editor of “The Ark Newspaper,” he accepted a position to work at the print-only publication, which has about 2,500 subscribers.

“I am the Belvedere Crime, Courts, and Public Safety Reporter at The Ark,” Hose said. “I cover the Belvedere City Council, Planning Commission, and other smaller boards like the Parks Commission. I also cover two fire districts, a recreation district, and have previously filled in to cover a high school district. I keep tabs with the police and visit the station to see if any weird crimes or trends are happening.”

The publication he works for has won 11 statewide first- and second-place awards for reporting, design, editing, and photography among newspapers of its size in the year of 2016. “The Ark Newspaper” has received about 100 awards since 2011, including being named a National General Excellence Finalist for its circulation size by the National Newspaper Association in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Hose’s journalism career started with his involvement with The USD Vista, his reporting internship at the Voice of San Diego, and the opportunities of meeting and discussing with knowledgeable professors as an undergraduate. As a former news editor at The USD Vista, Hose said that he understands the investigative work involved with diving deeper into certain local issues.

“I am a big believer of how powerful local news can be, especially with the national media landscape not really looking good,” Hose said. “Local news is where you tell these real stories that nobody else would. It can be an amazing story, but it is about keeping your ears open and being willing to accept that anything can be a story. I enjoy covering these stories of the local city on such a detailed basis because I am the only one doing that and have the power to bring these stories about.”

Hose described his recent investigative news story regarding the sterilization of deer, which was featured in “The Ark Newspaper.”

“The city of Belvedere was debating on whether or not to sterilize the deer of the city,” Hose said. “The people of this beautiful island with hedges and ivy thought there were too many deer and the city was divided on what to do. I wanted to find out if this sterilization procedure they proposed was humane. After much investigation, I received the consensus that it was an accepted method being used around the country.”

Hose was excited for the opportunity to write what he claimed was a big story.

“It was a moment in which I had the opportunity to educate a whole city on this issue,” Hose said. “It became the talk of the town.”

In addition to the support he garnered from the town, Hose has received three honorable mentions and blue-ribbon finalist awards for an Enterprise News Series about federal flood zone regulations and their effects on local residents. Other honorable mentions also included best Sports Feature Story about a swimmer who kept going despite a heart condition and Coverage of Local Government for a series of stories about a local debate over sterilizing the deer in the city. “The Ark Newspaper” will be notified mid-May on whether they won first- or second-place from the California Newspaper Publishers Association in the following categories: Coverage of Breaking News, Coverage of Education, and Coverage of Local Government. The newspaper covered stories about a local man who saved a woman and was stabbed nearly to death in her backyard, a high school community’s plea to save a mental health and wellness center amid budget cuts, and a group of bus riders’ effort to keep a dedicated bus line running to San Francisco.

Hose reflected on his past experiences as a USD undergraduate.

“I loved USD, going to classes, and nerding out on all my school readings,” Hose said. “My favorite part about The [USD] Vista was that you had all of these incredibly intelligent people at the top of any field all around you at anytime. I also had a blast with some of the late nights on Tuesdays spent at The [USD] Vista office. That 9 p.m. feeling when you’ve been crammed for eight or so hours in a room with 10 people and everything becomes funny —you really can’t beat it.”

Hose said that he thoroughly enjoys interviewing the people of Marin County, learning about their lives, and writing stories that he believes everyone wants to read.

“I want to continue to do what I am doing hopefully one day in a major city, really covering things in-depth that others are not covering,” Hose said. “I would love to do more with poverty and issues migrant communities are facing. But for now, I like what I am doing and I am in no rush to leave.”

Hose said that he believes a good relationship with a newspaper’s editor is the most important one and the reason he stays as a staff reporter with “The Ark Newspaper.”

“It is important to build that trust with another person,” Hose said. “I trust that my editor will let me pursue this article and he will tell me how it is. Meanwhile, he trusts that I am going to try my best.”

An international relations major and Spanish minor, Hose shared some advice for current students, especially graduating seniors.

“We rush into our careers after college, but you don’t have to do that,” Hose said. “You can take it slow and feel out what you want to do. Your certain major does not dictate what you do with your life.”

In the future, Hose hopes to continue reporting and editing.

“I don’t have any set trajectory right now to be honest,” Hose said. “I think a lot is in flux in the journalism world, so I try to keep an open mind about where I could end up. But in general I’d love to report internationally for a while, or focus really deeply on one particular issue in a city—something like housing, education, or immigration.”

Tayler Reviere Verninas | Asst. News Editor