Looking for answers. Finding a few.
At Walt Whitman's birthplace in Melville, NY. If Walt could see how the Internet has transformed how we communicate.
I love journalism for a number of reasons. One big reason is it provides the opportunity to indulge my curiosity, unleash my skepticism, and appease my need to share my observations with total strangers.
For all that I'm grateful.
Covering mostly business topics I end up just about everywhere. Economics? Almost invariably, business stories address who is spending, on what, and what caps their spending. Banking? One moment you are interviewing Wall Street executives seeking to finance their receivables, the next folks down the block aiming to finance their retirement. Cover technology and you're good for everything from chip design to medical breakthroughs, from digital entertainment to self-darkening glass.
Over the years I've crossed the globe multiple times pursuing stories. Some of them I find, others find me. Often the faces of the people I interview, and the stories they tell, linger in memory. Traveling to France to cover the acquisition of a centuries-old French ceramics factory by a Dutch-born American, I met factory workers struggling to produce contemporary merchandise using 16th century technologies. In profiling a hotel opening in Tahiti, I stumbled on a gang of Tahitian moonshiners exporting mango applejack. A good tipple, an even better story. Reporting a series of local technology stories, I discovered leading high-tech businesses still using dial-up Internet services well in the 21st century.
In every story I try to pry the unguarded moment out from under the official statement. I pursue the data that delivers relevance, and the remark that gives it heart. I seek numbers that underscore trends, and words that provide context. I try to make those numbers dance. You find these stories - or rather they find you - when you get about with open ears, open eyes and open mind. Presumptions are the enemy of good writing.