People used to ask me why I loved journalism. The answer was simple: I got paid to help people by finding and telling the truth, and I got to do it through writing.
I spent twelve years as a newspaper and magazine reporter. My writing has appeared in The Press of Atlantic City, The Guardian, The Oregonian, and other publications. I won various journalism awards, including for columns and investigative reporting, and was a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. Later, I founded and ran an online magazine with 20+ staffers (writers, photographers, videographers, etc.), freelanced a bit, and even co-produced a documentary shot in Brazil.
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. A city coming to terms with the closure of the famous steel mill that was its identity. The uplifting story of hope you didn’t know existed.
For me, journalism was — is — about honesty, integrity, and changing lives with the truth. You get paid so little to do so much. It shaped who I am. Or perhaps more accurately, it helped me find and understand who I am.
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 in my second year on the job. These columns were personal. They still are.