Adina Solomon is a freelance journalist based in Atlanta. She writes about a range of topics — everything from business to culture to death to city design and beyond. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, The Atlantic’s CityLab, Smithsonian Magazine, and other outlets both in Atlanta and nationally. Adina spent months and miles reporting on a major pipeline project’s effects on the home of the largest Native American community east of the Mississippi River. She was named a 2018 Rising Star by the News Media Alliance. Before freelancing, Adina worked as an editor at trade publications in aviation and hospitality. In between, she taught English to high school students in France. Adina serves as head of the freelance committee for the Society of Professional Journalists’ Georgia chapter. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a journalism degree.
What do I do best?
I think about things differently than a lot of people. That means I think of topics and stories that are overlooked, which is an asset for a freelancer. It also means I get to cover things that few people consider and allows me to challenge preconceived notions.
What makes me the best version of myself?
An awkward middle school phase has ensured that I’m not sensitive to criticism, making me a determined person. The nature of freelancing is running into constant failure. But if you don’t keep trying – keep pitching that dream publication, keep running after a story – then you’ll never have a chance to receive a yes.
What are my aspirations?
For my personal goals, I would like to become more fluent in languages other than English. I speak French pretty well, but I’d like to improve my fledgling Spanish. For my business goals, I’d like to write more longform, investigative pieces.
My Biggest Success?
It’s hard for me to pick absolutes, but I’m proud of the work I did in reporting on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s effects on the Lumbee tribe in Robeson County, North Carolina. The story, published in February, took almost a year of interviews and work, and it was difficult to get the needed information and organize it in a logical way. It turned out to be a fascinating story.
My Most Challenging Moment?
In retrospect, it doesn’t seem that difficult, but the decision to leave a steady, full-time job and jump into freelance work is among my tougher decisions. There’s always the prospect of failure in the back of your mind. But so far, it has been a great decision that has made me feel invigorated about my career.
If you don’t try, you’ll never know.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
On the business side, I follow work from Nikole Hannah-Jones, an investigative journalist who covers civil rights; Corey Johnson, a journalist now at the Tampa Bay Times who has done amazing investigative pieces on criminal justice; and Lauren Smiley, a freelance journalist who writes tech stories that really make you think.
On the personal side, I think of my family, my husband, and my friends who I worked with on the student newspaper at the University of Georgia.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
One of my favorite places in Atlanta is Oakland Cemetery, a beautiful Victorian cemetery. I like history, nature, and architecture, so this combines all of that.
I lived in France for a while, so I have a special affinity for it. Costa Rica, specifically the area around Monteverde, is gorgeous. Israel is always wonderful. But really, as soon as I start listing favorite destinations, I can’t stop. There are so many great places in the world.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
I don’t like shopping, but I love cooking. So I’ll say that my favorite product is my kitchen knife. My husband and I use it every day. It’s indispensable. For decorative objects, I really like this ceramic whiskey bottle from decades ago that’s in the shape of a locomotive. It’s not valuable or rare, but I just think it’s a cool piece. My grandfather loved trains, so it’s something he had, which I found more recently in my grandma’s house.
Also, as a journalist, I can’t live without my recorder.
My Current Passions?
I love city design. It incorporates so many different topics: transportation, socioeconomics, community building, the environment, history. I’ve been fired up about it ever since I read more about the historical development of suburbs and how the car has influenced how we live. (Spoiler alert: If you learn about this, you too will be ruined.)