Carlie recently had the opportunity to sit down with Alexandria Sands, a new reporter at Axios Charlotte. Check out their conversation about Alex’s journey in journalism and Charlotte homecoming!
Tell me about yourself… where are you from and what brought you to Charlotte?
“My name is Alexandria Sands, but you can call me Alex! I grew up in Apex, North Carolina and studied at UNC Charlotte because I loved the campus and the city. After graduating, I moved to Leland and worked in Southport at their newspaper, where I had worked as an intern during college. From there I went to a Wilmington virtual newspaper, Port City Daily, for about a year. It was then that I realized I wanted to come home to Charlotte, so I applied at Axios and here I am! I stayed up to date on Charlotte news while at my other jobs and realized I wanted to be a part of covering some of the bigger stories that were developing in the Queen city.”
How did you get interested in journalism?
“Back when I was in middle school, I got my first camera as a gift and brought it everywhere. My parents suggested that I was going to be a photojournalist when I grew up, and that really stuck with me! Later in high school I did yearbook and newspaper as extracurriculars, slowly writing more than I was taking photos. By the time I got to UNC Charlotte, writing had become my biggest passion. I joined The Niner Times and devoted myself to improving those skills while working a few internships on the side. I juggled four internships while being a full-time student but loved what I did so I just kept going!”
How did the opportunity come about to join Axios and what are your goals as a reporter at Axios?
“I had previously worked with Emma Way (now deputy managing editor of Axios local) through my previous internship at Charlotte Magazine, so that was my connection to Axios. I’ve always looked up to a lot of the writers at Axios, especially Michael Graff (Axios Southern bureau chief) and Katie Peralta Soloff (Axios editor). I’ve also always admired Axios’ format, so I was eager to become a part of that. Axios does a great job of focusing on the reader and their needs, making access to news as quick, convenient and accessible as possible. I aim to respect our readers’ time and get to the point in why the news matters to them specifically.”
How would you describe Axios in three words?
“Innovative, informative and fun!”
What is on the horizon for Axios?
“We just got acquired by Cox Media and are planning to expand to multiple cities across the country. The goal in those new markets is to provide similar coverage to what Axios Charlotte does in the local community and beyond.”
What kind of news do you find most interesting to report on?
“I personally gravitate toward smaller stories that make you feel connected to your community as well as bigger picture, progressive stories that focus on what Charlotte is becoming and where the city is headed.”
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned so far while working in the journalism industry?
“I’ve found that we are all so caught up in our phones, work and personal lives. Journalism for me provides the unique opportunity to pause what’s going on in my own life and focus on understanding another person in a very deep way that I would likely not get to do in another career. Journalism has helped me to appreciate that every person you pass on the street has a story and the opportunity to tell that story to the best of my ability.”
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
“I am very committed to staying in Charlotte and evolving as a journalist that serves my local community. I want to contribute to the community in a positive, impactful way and gain Charlottean’s trust in delivering them news related to Charlotte and beyond.”
To learn more about Axios Charlotte and stay up to date on local news, be sure to join 113,687 smart Charlotteans who wake up to the Axios Charlotte newsletter each morning at 6 a.m.