A few months ago Tarpley Hitt was just the new intern at Miami New Times, a local, weekly alternative paper.
After a break room conversation about the up and coming controversial rapper XXXTENTACION, her editor pointed out that the rapper lived locally and maybe she could write something about him.
A dig through the public records led to a traffic violation that accidentally listed his mother’s address. Expecting to maybe find her, she drove to the house and unexpectedly found X himself.
What followed was a personal profile that few others had been granted access to. In what she described to Jon Caramanica of the New York Times as the longest and hardest piece of writing that she had done outside of college, Hitt also profiled his alleged abuse victim, triangulating the complicated portrait further.
When X was tragically murdered a few weeks ago, guess whose article became one of the most sought after pieces of source material for all of the major publications?
Not a bad first long form article for an intern.
No one held Hitt back, and credit to her editor for letting her push this far forward when she found the opening. She found quite the way to break out onto the national scene.
Titles are important, but it’s the work that makes the job.
I have a feeling she’s well on her way to a title more fitting than intern.