Editor, SouthtownStar and Joliet Herald-News, Tinley Park, Ill.
Project: Build a new kind of mobile media company to connect people who shoot video with newsrooms that need high-quality content.
Michelle Holmes is fiercely committed to strong community journalism that engages readers in conversation, rather than talks at them. She began her journalism career as a clerk in the circulation department of her hometown newspaper, The News-Dispatch in Michigan City, Ind. Through sheer will and a little freelance writing, Holmes worked her way into the newsroom, where she began as a copy editor. She then worked as city hall reporter, editorial page editor and city editor before moving to the Post-Tribune in Merillville, Ind. There she held several leadership roles, ultimately becoming managing editor and a member of the editorial board, reporting and writing editorials. In 2008, she became editor of the SouthtownStar, leading 80 journalists covering the Southside and suburbs of Chicago. Under her guidance, the newspaper has been recognized with national awards in sports, news and photography. And in 2011, Holmes also became editor of a sister publication, the Joliet Herald-News, which serves Illinois’ fourth largest city.
Holmes is creating a solution that uses technology to create new kinds of collaborations between media companies and their audiences.
Information on this page is from the fellowship year.