Hello, I’m Zach Crizer, a reporter set on illuminating the ways of the world through compelling human stories. Currently, I write for The Roanoke Times, exploring southwest Virginia by narrating the trials and tribulations of cops, ex-cons and small town mayors with big dreams. Since turning a night cops internship into my first real job out of college, I’ve covered public safety and Franklin County, a semi-rural region doused in Appalachian folklore.
Before landing in Roanoke, I moved to the Ozarks to work for Stry.us, a summer-long grant-funded project that brought longform journalism to the local level in Springfield, Missouri. As part of that six-person team, I wrote and edited an array of longform features on things like an unintentional YouTube star and a town’s tornado recovery.
As a student at Virginia Tech, I led the Collegiate Times during the 2011 shooting of a campus police officer and guided the paper’s nationally recognized feature and enterprise reporting. Throughout college, I reported on the aftermath of the April 16, 2007 massacre, probing the legal and cultural ramifications of America’s most deadly mass shooting. Before my senior year, I worked as a summer intern on the city desk at The New York Post.
Outside of obsessively reading the latest longform journalism, I spend my free time closely following baseball and college football, seeking out new restaurants and traveling America’s cities to indulge those interests.