Some of my
journalism

Quite the World, Isn't It?

Helping ourselves

May 19, 2009

Tags: Tribune, LATimes, LAObserved, freelance, photography, journalism

One of the reassuring things that came after the mass layoffs across Tribune -- owner of the Los Angeles Times, my former employer -- is the way so many of us have come together with a sense of mutual aid. A flood of "what do we do now?" and "Anyone have any idea what that letter meant?" emails led me to launch a Yahoo group for ExLATers, now closing in on 100 members. It's been a great tool for pooling knowledge and unscrambling often contradictory bits of information -- especially after Tribune entered bankruptcy.

Elsewhere, folks have launched a web site to track where former Trib employees across the properties have moved to on the web. This one is fairly new and is a good and growing showcase of the breadth and depth of talent cut loose in this crisis (thanks to LAObserved for posting it, and ExLATer Saul Daniels for alerting our Yahoo group).

And now former photographers at the LAT are joining with former shooters for the Long Beach Press Telegram and Santa Clarita Signal in their own freelance photographer network. My former colleague Matt Randall put it together, and says he hopes to have a website live next week linking to all the photographers. It augments nicely the online work our fellow ExLATer Bret Levy has been doing with webinars at WriteThru.

These are all innovative ways to address the problems we face as individual journalists. The future is ours, kids, let's keep fighting for it ....

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About me


A third-generation journalist, I was born in Scarborough, Maine, and grew up there and in Wellsville, New York, about two hours south of Buffalo. My first newspaper job came at age 16, writing a high school sports column for the Wellsville Patriot, a weekly (defunct), then covering local news part-time for the Wellsville Daily Reporter.

After attending Fredonia State, where I was editor of The Leader newspaper and news director for WCVF campus radio, I worked in succession for the Jamestown Post-Journal, Rochester Times-Union (defunct), The Detroit News and the Los Angeles Times, where I covered presidential and other political campaigns, books, local news and features, including several Sunday magazine pieces.

An active freelancer, my work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Sierra Magazine, Los Angeles magazine, Orange Coast magazine, New York Times Book Review (books in brief), Buffalo News, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Teaching Tolerance (Southern Poverty Law Center), Solidarity (United Auto Workers) and elsewhere. I teach or have taught journalism courses at Chapman University and UC Irvine, and speak occasionally at school and college classes about journalism, politics and writing. I've appeared on panels at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and the Literary Orange festival, moderated panels at the Nieman Conference in Narrative Journalism and the North American Labor History Conference, among others, and been featured on C-SPAN's Book TV.

I'm also a co-founder of The Journalism Shop, a group of journalists (most fellow former Los Angeles Times staffers) available for freelance assignments.



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