Karina Bland is a storyteller. Her work proves that old-school reporting is still the key to the best stories, even in a multimedia world.

In 30 years of reporting and writing for Arizona newspapers, Bland, 51, has covered news beats from cops to courts and from education to Child Protective Services. When she became a feature writer, that experience brought depth and sophisticated sourcing to stories about people and their lives. Her careful, deliberate reporting skills are at their best when breaking news intersects with regular people’s lives.

Her topics over the last year have ranged from school shootings to American hostages with ties to Arizona, and from the two times she quit smoking to what happens to the donated organs of a 4-year-old girl.

Bland introduces readers to people such as Magda Willinger, a Holocaust survivor who see similarities between what happened back then and what’s happening now; Patti Colbath, who watched as her 12-year-old son shot himself in the head; and Romper Room’s Miss Sherri who feels punished still for an abortion 54 years ago.

She writes of boundaries crossed, promises kept and the hard things that make us stronger.Bland earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1987 and a master’s degree in communications in 1997 from Arizona State University, and has worked at the Mesa Tribune, the Phoenix Gazette and, since 1997, The Arizona Republic. She and her 17-year-old son, Sawyer, live in Tempe, Ariz.