Best Beat Reporter

Former Sun reporter Melody Simmons brought two decades' worth of local housing and development reporting to The Daily Record's 2011 series "Too Big to Fail?," an investigation into East Baltimore Development Inc.'s efforts to revitalize the Middle East neighborhood. The series, a joint effort with freelancer Joan Jacobson, another Sun veteran, was recently recognized with a Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association award, and the diligence and deep knowledge that went into it informs Simmons' regular Real Estate Notebook. In that, she not only follows the ongoing EBDI story but also local real-estate news, and her reporting always recognizes that the real-estate business impacts how we interact with the city we live in, that development is always political, and that's what good for one party isn't necessarily good for the community at large. Yet another reason why beat reporters rule.

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