Trymaine Lee: New MSNBC gig is a chance to ‘flex different muscles’

Maynard Institute
Trymaine Lee, the Huffington Post reporter who helped move the Trayvon Martin story into the mainstream, is taking a job at MSNBC.

Reached by phone, Lee told Poynter he was taking most of November off to spend time with his daughter, who was born in August. His exact role at MSNBC “will be tightened” after he gets there, he said, but he expects to focus on what he said were “issues that are important to progressives,” such as gun rights and gun control.

As a police reporter at the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Lee was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for its Hurricane Katrina coverage. He also contributed reporting to The New York Times’ Pultizer Prize-winning coverage of Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s downfall, Richard Prince writes.

Lee told Prince that in addition to writing for MSNBC, he’ll also “have a presence, to one degree or another, on the television side when it makes sense.”

This past April, Lee talked with Tracie Powell about his role in shining a national spotlight on the Martin shooting

I think sometimes it takes people to care about an issue, a subject, a source in order to bring it to light. …

I don’t know what would have happened if I didn’t hear about this story, if Charles Blow or Ta-Nehisi Coates had not heard about this story. But I can’t help but believe that our being black men played some role in our motivation to get out there.

Lee says he’s not sure exactly what format his writing will take at MSNBC, but thinks it will be a mix of short and longform pieces — similar to what he did at The Huffington Post. ”One thing I’m excited about is to do not necessarily longform but delve into important issues,” he said.

While he had a “great time” at The Huffington Post, Lee says his new gig is “an opportunity to kind of reach further” and “flex different muscles.”

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