Devil’s Advocate: A semester lookback



(Nicole Neri/DD)

Downtown Devil reporters have been on the ground providing the community with hyperlocal coverage that matters from the tense scene outside of President Donald Trump’s rally in downtown Phoenix to drawing groups at local coffee shops. Like with any semester, this one brought new faces and stories, but our goal to bring quality journalism has remained the same.

Just as with every winter, starting next week we will take a break from regular coverage for a few weeks, but before we do I want to take a look back at some of the top work Downtown Devil reporters have produced. Here are a few of this academic semester’s top stories, with input from our section editors. We will be back after the holidays with our continued effort to provide in-depth hyper-local coverage of downtown Phoenix.

Arts & Entertainment

Local Artist has paintings displayed worldwide

Multimedia editor Nicole Neri gave readers an inside look at Phoenix artist Harvey Mercadoocasio, from his day-to-day routine of painting eight hours a day to his muses and styles. His work will be featured in the spring locally at Sisao Gallery on Grand Avenue in February and ArtHaus on April’s First Friday.


Homeless population faces barriers to health care

Homelessness is a common issue which Downtown Devil follows. Staff reporter and photographer Anya Magnuson focused on health care access for people living on the streets. She explored how their lack of access can make small problems into big ones. She also followed up with an article on one clinic trying to help reduce the problem.


High school DACA students face an uncertain future

In September, President Donald Trump announced he would be ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) leaving many downtown-area students with an uncertain future. Our education section explored the implications of DACA throughout the semester. Contributing reporter Derek Hall explored this issue and Phoenix Union High School’s reaction following the announcement.


Protesters take center stage at City Council Meeting

Following the use of tear gas and pepper balls outside of the Trump rally in August, emotions were raw. City Council bore the forefront of the reaction against the police as they ultimately voted against an independent review of police actions at the rally. Reporter Derek Hall was there to capture the protesters and council’s ultimate decision.


Metronome: What I found at Lost Lake

The inaugural Lost Lake Festival brought more than 45,000 people to Central Phoenix along with big name acts such as Chance the Rapper, The Pixies and Columnist Atlan Rush Hassard took readers through the sites and sound of the festival in his Metronome column. He detailed his experience both at the stage and around the festival, giving readers who may not have been able to attend a peak inside.


Trump protest ends in tear gas

In August, what began with peaceful protests, ended with tear gas and riot police. This collaborative effort between Multimedia editor Nicole Neri, Assistant Multimedia editor Nick Serpa and staff photographer Anya Magnunson brought the voices and scenes outside of President Donald Trump’s rally to life with photos and a video.

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