Madison Fantozzi is The Ledger‘s education reporter who serves as both the watchdog over Polk County’s education system and a storyteller of the good things going on in our schools.
She joined the newspaper in 2014 and has become a go-to source of information for members of the community with her accurate, timely reporting and engagement through social media.
For Madison, her job is not a one-way communication of information, but rather an ongoing dialogue between her and members of the community on how to make where we live a better place.
Madison graduated from Florida International University in August 2014 with her bachelor’s of science degree in journalism. The South Florida native received her associate’s degree from University of North Florida in Jacksonville, where she was a contributing writer for The Spinnaker before returning home to pursue her education at FIU’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
There, she joined Student Media and was quickly promoted to the environment beat, assistant news director and ultimately news director. As director, she produced content daily for four media platforms: the newspaper, social media, FIUSM.com and WRGP Radiate FM’s PantherWire. She also maintained a beat covering student government and worked closely with her advisers to produce breaking investigative pieces.
Madison was also involved with the South Florida News Service, a student-run wire service that publishes in the Miami Herald, Sun Sentinel and Palm Beach Post. There, she enterprised her own story ideas and worked closely with the news director to produce hyper-local feature stories.
As an intern with Miami Herald, Madison was a beat reporter covering Pinecrest, a small municipality in South Miami and the Herald’s second largest readership. She also continued writing feature stories and covering local events. She covered the Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge, her last assignment as an intern, working up until the day she left for a new internship with Scripps Washington Bureau in D.C.
With Scripps Howard Foundation Wire at the Washington Bureau, Madison covered high-profile Supreme Court Cases, Senate hearings, White House events and the Scripps National Spelling Bee, among other things. Although she was only there for a short month, she published stories in Naples Daily News and Anderson Independent-Mail, and produced daily content for an intern-run website and syndication service.
Madison’s last venture before landing her job at The Ledger was with Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers in Stuart, where she worked as an intern reporter on the breaking news and Indian River Lagoon teams.