Thursday, March 6, 2014

Most my journalism career has been spent as a sportswriter or science/environment writer. Much of that work appears elsewhere on either the Science or Sports pages. However, some of the more newsy items that I've written while working in sports appear here. Some columns appear on the Opinion page, and the sports reports and features appear on the Sports page.

My first real 'news' experiences were from the first class students at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism take: Reporting and Writing I. We worked a beat -- usually a neighborhood in one of the boroughs of New York City, but in my case Englewood, N.J. -- and worked on stories on assigned topics throughout the semester. Some of the stories I filed for the class are also below.

One thing to keep in mind as you check some of the links is that newspapers get sold or change online publishing platforms. When they do, stories that were linked to the original sites can disappear—as has happened to all of my work for the Petersburg Progress-Index. So if the links don't work, my apologies. I can't always keep up with the changes.

The Mechanicsville Local
Seismic station placed near earthquake site

I don't usually get to write much science in my current position as sports editor (and before that, sports stringer) for The Mechanicsville Local. But the anniversary of the 2011 Mineral, Va., earthquake—which made for a rather memorable day with my daughter at Virginia Commonwealth University—gave me the opportunity to do a little science writing when I accompanied a group of earth scientists installing a new seismic station near the epicenter of the quake:

Seismic station placed near earthquake site

Columbia University
Graduate School of Journalism

In 1996, churches, synagogues and mosques across the country were targeted by arsonists. Shortly after an Baptist church was attacked in New Jersey, the Rev. Alfred E. Steele, an assemblyman from Paterson and the only clergyman in the state legislature, announced a bill that would stiffen penalties for arson attacks on houses of worship:

Snuffing out wildfires of hate


The Roman Catholic Church may be the dominant religious institution in Latin America, but evangelical Protestant denominations are making progress in recruiting converts.  I visited a service held for a Pentecostal congregation made up primarily of Latin American immigrants in Englewood:

Rockin' religion


Immigrants used to feel like valued members of the American melting pot, but no more.  I talked to a some long-time residents of Englewood about how unwelcome they now feel in their adopted country:

The new enemy


In a related story, I talked to people who work with recent immigrants about why the newest Americans get blamed for causing so many of society's problems:

Guilt by recent arrival