(315 words, or 2.5 minutes)
I've been a journalist professionally since October 31, 2005.
At 22, I started working at a daily newspaper in a hardscrabble Midwestern city, wearing holes in my budget dress shoes. It sounds corny but I had the wet socks to prove it. I won a regional award for a story about some artifacts found in a locker at the local high school but I am most proud to have aggressively reported on the local bodies of government without favor or fear of angering the power-brokers there. That was 2005-2008.
I spent the next seven years working at three different alternative weeklies in St. Louis, then Denver, then New York. It was a time of slideshows and concert reviews and political blogging and emerging digital media empires. That was 2008-2015.
The next six years saw me help shepherd a media startup from an apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to offices on Park Avenue in Manhattan. Quite the journey. I helped scale the traffic but also shaped the editorial vision and priorities, winning recognition and learning first-hand about the challenges and rewards of helping lead a new media venture.
All of my experiences during this journey gave me an even wider view of the importance of economically sustainable journalism. I also saw the value of transparency with readers and among managers.
Finally, knowing, building, and retaining an audience has been one of the most valuable skills I've developed. This relationship is also maybe closest to the reason many of us get into journalism — to communicate with your community about the issues that matter, or should matter, to them.
As I write this, I'm 39. I've had a lot of experience over a relatively short amount of time in digital media.
I was born and raised in Illinois, educated in St. Louis, and was married and am raising a baby girl with my wife in Brooklyn, New York.