|“||The media are the watchdogs of society.||”|
MELinda Lossman is a freelance reporter who travels the country constantly, following the latest lead or whim. Her contacts within the Autobots and G.I. Joe give her early scoops on a wide range of stories, although economic hard times have made it difficult to investigate them with sufficient resources. Being her own boss works for MEL, since she has known problems with authority and doesn’t deal well within organizational hierarchies. The downside, of course, is that when she gets in a bind, which is often with her bad temper, she has few friends to call upon to bail her out. She is physically tough and a great writer, but when mad is more of a wild brawler than a trained fighter.
Mel was born the same year the Transformers debuted, and has never lived in a world without them. She is very interested in the Autobot / Decepticon conflict, and what the full story is beyond the good guy / bad guy propaganda and rhetoric.
In grade school Mel met her lifelong friend Marissa Faireborn, who is the daughter of G.I. JOE operatives Flint and Lady Jaye. The two became fast friends, and when Mel's idol Spike Witwicky was injured by Frenzy in the early nineties, Mari even snuck Mel Lady Jaye's surveillance reports on Witwicky, allowing Mel to discover that Blackrock Industries was considering laying him off as a liability. At ten years old, young Mel discovered the power of the press when she drafted an official-looking letter, pretending to be ten years older than she was, and more or less threatened Blackrock with bad press if they let Witwicky go. Blackrock folded and Witwicky kept his job, and from then on Mel was set on using the press and public pressure to force the rich and powerful to do what's right.
Mel went to school with Marissa, before the Timewarp changed their relative ages. After graduating with a degree in journalism, Mel worked as a reporter for a major San Francisco media outlet, and joined a local roller derby team.
However, in 2012, Mel got laid off from the paper, and was forced to give up her apartment and roller derby as she struggled to earn a living as a freelance journalist. In 2013 she started traveling with Katie Sorensen, covering the storm chaser trail while pursuing other projects, like Trucial Abysmia's claims of Autobot involvement in Anwar Assan's rescue and and the Quintessons' invasion of Earth. In 2014, The New Yorker asked Mel to consider writing an extensive profile on the Witwicky family. More than happy to agree, Mel moved into Autobot City temporarily to interview the Witwickys and the Autobots that know them.
However, after she published an interview with Grimlock seen as some to be critical of Autobot leadership, Mel was unceremoniously uninvited from Autobot City. Nonetheless, Mel's article about the Witwicky family was published in the New Yorker in 2015 - titled "A Chance Encounter: How The Tragic Death of A Wife and Mother Resulted in The Most Unlikely Group of Planetary Ambassadors." It was well-received by most critics, although some questioned her neutrality on the subject of the Witwicky family and the Autobots in general, citing especially her positive take on Spike Witwicky. Unfortunately, great reactions get a Tweet. The criticisms get the articles. Salon: "Why Mel Lossman's Shallow Puff Piece Does The Witwicky's No Favors." People: "Mel's obvious girlish adoration of her subjects is at best, glib fan-girl zine material, and at worse, journalistic negligence." Fox News Blog: "An 8,000 piece about the Witwickys. One sentence about Spike dropping out of college. Our universe ambassador, ladies and gentlemen! #liberalbiascontinues." Another is far more blunt: "Having a Dead Mom Doesn't Qualify You To Be Autobot Ambassador." However, to prove that the Witwicky family isn't cursed... The Atlantic website had Mel's story at the top of its "must read stories of the week": "a wonderful, and surprisingly in-depth profile of the Autobot ambassadors." Neil deGrasse Tyson's Tweet: "I'm an astrophysicist - and have more degrees than Spike will ever have...and I couldn't be more confident that our world has the right ambassadors for this planet. Awesome article" and some general talk about Mel's article being a contender for "feature story" for a few national pub awards.
Mel started 2016 by talking to her editor about her article on the Witwickys, and getting a new assignment to interview the exiled former rules of Trucial Abysmia.
Letter to Blackrock Industries
To: Beth Vlasak
From: M <email withheld>
Subject: Possible News Story Idea
Time: February 25th, 1994
I'm currently studying to be a journalism major, so I'm always on the lookout for a good story. I think I might have found something - but I would need your input to verify if this would be a story news outlets would be interested in.
It has come to my knowledge (I go by 'Mel' on discussion boards like 'Corporate Malpractice' and I'm one of the head contributors to the Y2K Prevention board) that a young man has been critically injured in an attack on a construction facility. Although the construction facility was not liable, there have been rumblings that this person may be dropped from said construction company's health insurance coverage.
Removing the fact that said company would be dropping said employee not only when said employee is still paralyzed, but also a NEW parent AND supporting a wife who is in grad school - I found it interesting that before said employee sustained this catastrophic injury - this employee's team took a project that was 4 weeks behind schedule (which would have cost said construction company $4 million in late fees) - and took it to being 3 weeks ahead of schedule (which I think is a $2 million bonus for this corporation) - and that was after the damage done after the attack on the injured employee. Not to mention that team being down a project lead (the injured employee).
I suppose said business organization has every right to do this action. However, as a human interest story, I believe my contacts at ABC News and the Washington Post would be VERY interested in this human interest story. However, if this not the case, if this corporation intends to keep injured employee on its payroll, which would include paying for his medical bills, as well as his wife and son's medical bills - then I don't believe this would be a story worth pursing.
P.S. - I know said corporation would love to get in with the Autobots about developing technologies to combat the Decepticon menace. If Autobot leadership were to know said company dropped their human ally from their coverage plan when said employee was both paralyzed and had a newborn baby to care for, I guarantee said corporation would not be involved in any future Autobot/human collaborations.
Would you agree?
- January 20 - "Silly Mel" - Katie encounters Mel on her rollerblades, and silliness ensues
- January 25 - "The Very Concept of Applebee's" - Katie and Mel head out to eat with Katie's daughters.
- September 26 - "Dinner Time! - Katie and Mel stop by Subway.
- February 11 - "Baroness Interview" - Melinda Lossman interviews the Baroness by phone.
- February 11 - "Attacks Strain US Relations with TC" - Recent attacks on US military installations by Cobra has put to rest hopes for improved relations with Cobra Island and has strained US relationships with Trans-Carpathia as well.
- April 19 – “The Looking Glass Breaks” - Ebony Returns to the SG world, Scarlett's Cover is broken in the SG-Pit, General Flint is killed, Scarlett is rescued!
- October 7 - "Cascade Failure"
- June 18 - "Decepticons Attack Niagara Falls" - Mel reports on a Decepticon energy raid
- February 24 - "Bionic Six" - Mel reports on a new team calling themselves the Bionic Six.
- March 16 - "Autobot to Back US Against Cobra" - Melinda Lossman interviews Optimus Prime.
- March 19 - "Dinobot Commander Disagrees with Autobot Policy" - Melinda Lossman get an exclusive interview with Grimlock
- March 27 - "Decepticons Attack Oil Route" - The Combaticons attack a Blackrock oil route, and the Dinobots respond.
- April 11 - "Transformers Battle in Georgia" - Mel reports on Vortex's attack on the Old City Cemetery in Macon, Georgia
- September 29 - "Biker Gang Terrorizes City" - Mel reports on the Dreadnok attack on LA.
- October 18 - "Putin Believed Killed" - Rumors swirl of the death of the Russian President.
- November 14 - "Spike Interview - Mel interviews Spike in Autobot City.
- November 22 - "Decepticon Mystery Solved!" - Mel belatedly reports the fate of Trypticon.
- December 6 - "Email from Mel to Spike" - Mel sends a horrified apology to Spike.