People used to ask me why I loved journalism. The answer was simple: I got paid to write and help people by finding and telling the truth.
I spent twelve years as a newspaper and magazine reporter, founded and ran an online magazine with 20+ staffers (writers, photographers, etc.), did some freelancing, worked as a radio broadcaster in college, and even produced a documentary in Brazil with my wife. I won various journalism awards and was a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc., and North American Soccer Reporters.
That’s the nut graph. Here’s what lies beneath.
I didn’t enjoy chasing the sensational, like scandals or murders.
Rather, I found compelling stories hiding in plain sight. The political corruption nobody else could prove. The environmental catastrophe that changed a way of life. The prison riot the government tried to cover up. The uplifting story of hope you didn’t know existed.
For me, journalism was — is — about honesty, integrity, and perseverance. You get paid so little to do so much. For an idealist like me, that was the life. It shaped who I am. Or perhaps more accurately, it helped me to find and understand who I am. I never fell out of love with it.
Here are some of my clips.
Some of my favorites
- Ambury Hill: A forgotten cemetery for black Civil War veterans near a key stop on the Underground Railroad.
- Vanishing shores: The story of the Delaware Bayshore towns that died beneath the rising seas.
- Inside a women’s prison labor shop: Hope and redemption inside Montana Women’s Prison.
- 2001 columns: I won a Pennsylvania Newspaper Association award for best columnist when I was practically still a kid, in my second year on the job. These columns were personal. They still are.