Veteran Baltimore Sun reporter John Fritze is leaving his post as the paper’s Washington correspondent to report on the Trump administration for USA Today.
This will be his second stint there. Fritze previously served as a congressional and watchdog reporter for USA Today from 2008 to 2011.
“USA Today is a bit of a homecoming for me, since I covered Congress for them before I came to The Sun,” he wrote in a message to Baltimore Fishbowl. “There’s obviously no bigger story in Washington right now than the Trump White House. And I’m excited to spend time exploring that story.”
It was USA Today’s Washington Bureau chief, Susan Page, who broke the news that Fritze would be leaving Baltimore’s daily paper. In a tweet, the reporter praised his colleagues at The Sun, and said it’s been “an honor” reporting on D.C. for local readers.
Thanks, @SusanPage and @USATODAY. Homecomings are indeed sweet. I'm so excited to be back on the team there. It's been an honor to write for @baltimoresun readers these past seven years, and to work with such talented colleagues. Thanks, all. https://t.co/oRDsTlF5ft
— John Fritze (@jfritze) March 21, 2018
Prior to his first stint with USA Today, Fritze covered city hall for The Sun from 2005 to 2008. He began his journalism career as an enterprise and city hall reporter with the Indianapolis Star.
Fritze said one of the best parts of the job he’s leaving has been covering D.C. politics from a localized angle for Marylanders.
“Covering Washington for a metro newspaper is one of the best jobs in journalism because you can dig in on issues that a community cares about,” he said. “Few others will be combing through the omnibus today looking specifically at how Maryland priorities were treated. No one else was covering the fact that our U.S. Attorney nominee was being held up at a tough time for crime in Baltimore.”
“That’s the voice I’ve tried to bring to the beat, and I appreciate The Sun allowing me to do it.”
Asked about his favorite story that he’s written for The Sun, he said “it’s hard to pick one.” However, he did highlight his 2014 investigation into the federal Secure Communities deportation program–which revealed more than 40 percent of Maryland immigrants deported under the program had no prior criminal record–and his and others’ coverage of “Russia’s apparent interest in Maryland.”
He will begin his new job as a USA Today White House reporter in mid-April.
Fritze is among a number of Sun reporters who have left for other outlets in the last year. Justin George, now with The Marshall Project; Erica Green, who covers education policy for The New York Times; and Natalie Sherman, a New York-based reporter for the BBC, all departed last spring.
The Baltimore Sun Media Group’s newsrooms are set to undergo a reorganization, which includes the integration of teams of reporters, photographers and social media staff, and a decision by parent company tronc to outsource page layout and design to its Chicago offices, among other alterations.
The paper is also leaving its downtown headquarters behind for Port Covington this summer.
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