Editor-in-Chief, West Virginia Watchdog, Charleston, 29
On his first paying job:
"My first paying job was at the St. Marys McDonald's. I worked there for three years. … The fast food environment is a very stressful environment. If you do one thing wrong … two pickles instead of three, or if you put too much ketchup or too little ketchup, people will either yell at you or they'll throw it at you. … It taught you how to deal with people."
Steven Allen Adams has made a name for himself by keeping a close eye on the political players of West Virginia.
As editor-in-chief of West Virginia Watchdog, Adams covers a wide-variety of stories from Charleston. He was recognized by a Washington Post writer as one of the 50 best state-based reporters, and Reuters trusts Adams to regularly provide freelance work for its news wire service.
He also was staff writer and city editor for the Marietta Register and the Parkersburg Register, and he worked at the Tyler Star News, collecting more than five years of journalism experience.
"When you're all by yourself you have to be inventive in the way that you do things," Allen said. "A lot of things that some news agencies are doing in this city and around the state, in many ways, if I can be somewhat bold, come from some of the things that I've done — doing video early on, some audio work, blogging, using Twitter, things like that. It's great to see everyone is discovering those are really great tools for notifying people what is going on."
When he's not at work, Adams works on giving back to his community in Charleston's East End. He serves on the social media committee for East End Main Street where he has promoted the organization for the past year.