BEST COLUMNIST Minneapolis 2003 - Ruben Rosario
There's a paucity of pontification in Rosario's Pi Press columns, which revolve around issues of public safety but more memorably serve as portals for ordinary people to tell extraordinary stories. Born in New York, Rosario learned his proletarian-oriented journalism from masters such as Pete Hamill and Jimmy Breslin before coming to St. Paul in 1991. His knack for getting people to trust him and open up about their experiences is backed up by his empathy and integrity. Instead of using his sources as foils to promote his own opinions, he deploys his reportorial skills to provide context and resonance to what they are saying. That's why Rosario earned the Anna Quindlen Award for Excellence in Journalism on Behalf of Children and Families a few years back. And it explains why his "Notable Figures of 2002" column was bereft of celebrities and politicians, in favor of Priscilla Trepanier, who turned her life around after being repeatedly raped by her half-brother between the ages of five and 10; and D.J. Thelan Jr., who teaches personal finance to ex-gang members at a local Boys & Girls Club. In the same spirit, Rosario is our "Notable Columnist of 2003."