The Phoenix Flyer

Veteran reporter Lloyd Dunkelberger’s last day of putting out the news

By: - May 15, 2020 12:18 pm

Florida Phoenix reporter Lloyd Dunkelberger working in the Florida Senate press gallery. Credit: Florida Phoenix.

From decades of traditional print newspaper jobs to the changing world of digital journalism, veteran reporter Lloyd Dunkelberger is retiring from the news business he loved. His last day is today.

Dunkelberger leaves his last journalism job as a reporter at the Florida Phoenix, a nonprofit, grant-funded digital media outlet based in Tallahassee, covering state government, finances and politics.

Dunkelberger had said months ago that he would cover his last Florida legislative session this year — his 37th regular legislative session in Florida. In March, he was honored by the Florida Senate, with Senate President Bill Galvano, state senators and members of the Capitol Press Corps clapping in the Senate chamber.

His last major assignment following the legislative session was an important federal trial over felon voting rights.

In a journalism world that’s struggling and a gig economy consisting of two or three jobs, not many people stick with one passion and one long career.

But veteran Dunkelberger is that one-career person.

Dunkelberger had spent most off his career with the New York Times regional newspapers, and more recently with the News Service of Florida, and finally the nonprofit Florida Phoenix media outlet.

He had become a legislative and state budget expert, helping the public understand what’s going on in state government and how laws created by the Legislature impact ordinary citizens.

For many reporters, journalism became first and foremost a public service, even as newspapers began to shrink and newsroom layoffs became common.

Dunkelberger stayed proudly in the journalism ranks.

We will miss you, Lloyd Dunkelberger.

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Diane Rado
Diane Rado

Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.