Journalism Never, Journalism Now
In my 20s, everyone warned me that my habit of blogging would haunt me forever. "If you put that online, it'll be there FOREVER and every future employer will immediately see it."
And while that advice will definitely always be true when it comes to, ahem, inappropriate content, in the fullness of time I've come to realize that nope, nothing stays online forever.
Websites fold, links break, and the only evidence that you ever worked as a reporter is lost somewhere in the dregs of the Wayback Machine.
Print Journalism: Now-Deadish
My First Career
That is the introductory sentence I wrote in my application to become a Poynter College Fellow back in 2004, and it is truer today than it was then.
Journalism is my first love, and it was with much regret that I left alts in 2007 with an all-too-common severance package.
The San Antonio Current
San Antonio, Texas
I started interning at the San Antonio Current in 2003 while I was still in college.
Within a month, I was named “Star of the Month” – silly, I know, but I was the first intern to get that award and it was really exciting.
I published my first cover story within a few months on a subject that is still dear to my heart – school lunches. I was hired as a Calendar Editor for about six months, where I spent the majority of my time wrestling with databases and software – laying the foundation for an eventual move to digital media.
As Staff Writer and Food Editor, I had the chance to manage a section, wrangle writers, and implement new online features while still covering all kinds of news stories.
Poynter College Fellowship
I was honored to be a recipient of the Poynter Fellowship for College Journalists in 2004. 16 writers, 8 photographers, and 8 designers were chosen from a national applicant pool, and divided into geographical beats. (This dates me; in later years the program moved into multimedia reporting :)
Each team worked together to find stories in a place we’d never been before - St. Petersburg, FL.
Tampa, Florida & Atlanta, Georgia
After my fellowship at Poynter, I accepted a position as Food Editor at the Tampa Creative Loafing – then called The Weekly Planet.
Within six months of pestering the COO to make various fixes to the chain’s web publishing processes, I was given the job of doing it myself as Web Editor for the chain’s (then) four papers.
From headquarters in Atlanta, we launched blogs, podcasts and special event microsites, promotions and social media outreach.
Our tools were simple. We live-blogged the 2003 election using Typepad and promoted it on … (cough, really, cough) MySpace.
Association of Alternative Newsweeklies
I briefly lived in D.C. working at a nonprofit association of 125 alternative papers.
As Web Director/Editor I project managed website redesigns, launched a community conversation portal for our annual convention, and wrote a web publishing best practices blog, Web.aan.org. [View it on the Wayback Archive.]
Designed to give members the tools to create better websites, the blog highlighted best practices, improvement opportunities, and innovations online.
The content ages nicely: exploring the then-brand-new concept of Twitter to our readers I wrote: "Twitter has been getting a lot of buzz recently as a networked way to send out micro-updates to your network of friends."
Anyone else remember Microblogging? 😂