Lexi Solomon, who’s worked in public safety and government watchdog reporter roles for The Fayetteville Observer, will join CityView’s reporting team this week.
At CityView, her reporting work will focus on government accountability, explanatory story-telling and assisting with investigative journalism projects in the collaborative newsroom being developed in Cumberland County in partnership with The Assembly, a statewide news magazine.
Publisher Tony Chavonne said Solomon would be an ideal fit as a part of CityView’s growing news team.
“Lexi shares CityView’s goals of holding power accountable, being our readers’ eyes and ears across the city, and helping bring a diverse and changing city together,” Chavonne said. “With her professional experience and local knowledge, Lexi adds an important new resource to our news team.”
Solomon, a Chicago native, grew up in Williamsburg, Virginia, and graduated summa cum laude — with dual degrees in Russian and National Security & Foreign Affairs — from Virginia Tech in May 2022. She was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society and worked as both opinion editor and managing editor for the Collegiate Times while at Virginia Tech.
Her reporting career began with the Observer in the summer of 2022. Her reporting was recognized earlier this year in the 2023 North Carolina Press Association awards, winning a second place prize in the General News Reporting category for her coverage of the police shooting death of Fayetteville mother Jada Johnson.
“I come from a family of reporters,” Solomon said. “I grew up in my father's newsroom in Newport News, Virginia, and have an older sister who has thrived as a foreign correspondent in the Middle East and Berlin. Journalism is in my blood, and the desire to get the truth out to readers and hold those in power accountable drives everything I do.”
Senior CityView Reporter Paul Woolverton, who recently joined the staff after a 30-year career at the Observer, served as a mentor for Solomon at that newspaper.
“I worked with Lexi for more than a year at The Fayetteville Observer,” Woolverton said. “She covered crime and public safety, and later the city, town and county governments. She has great compassion for the people she reports on, and she is eager to keep those in power accountable to the people who elected them.”
Solomon, who joins CityView on Wednesday, said she was grateful to The Fayetteville Observer for teaching her the foundations of good journalism and helping her grow as a young reporter.
“The Observer will always have a place in my heart, but I'm thrilled to be joining the team at CityView and reuniting with Paul,” she said. “CityView's mission of in-depth reporting that asks the hard questions and tackles issues directly impacting our readers is something I strongly believe in. Local journalism matters, and I'm excited to get started with this wonderful team to show our readers the impact that local journalism can have.”
“We’re delighted to welcome Lexi to the team,” said Maydha Devarajan, CityView’s managing editor. “Her enthusiasm for human-centered storytelling and her vested interest in answering questions that Cumberland County residents need to know will be invaluable for CityView readers.”
Bill Horner III, CityView’s executive editor, said Solomon would be an integral part of CityView.
“I’ve been following Lexi’s reporting since even before I joined CityView,” he said. “Lexi will strengthen our capacity to write and report about issues that make a difference to our readers and to the communities we serve.”
Horner also announced the hiring of Valeria Cloës, who’ll also begin work this week. Cloës, a 2023 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media, will work as CityView’s lead copy editor and assist in production of the CityView Today newsletter and CityView Magazine and help oversee the development of new website and social media efforts.
Horner, Devarajan and Cloës worked together at The Chatham News + Record — where Cloës was a part-time copy editor — and Cloës has been assisting as a contract copy editor for CityView since September.
“I’ve worked with Valeria for the past two years, and she’s been an incredible asset to us in our work in Chatham County and here at CityView,” Horner said. “She’s a talented journalist and so versatile. She’ll be immensely valuable to the work we do here.”