Pistorius sentencing and reporting come to an end

Since February 2012, when Oscar Pistorius killed Reeva Steenkamp, USA Today has asked me to go out and speak with those so-called regular people to get their take on the unfolding facts. Cell phones make person-on-the street interviews tough. Look around any public area: the people by themselves are invariably chatting on their mobile, or […]

How do you answer, “Who do you write for?”

How do you answer, “Who do you write for?”

Like most questions about freelace writing and journalism, the real answer here is, “It depends.” When sending a query to a new-to-me editor, typically my bio line lists a few credits tailored to the publication. If, say, it’s a enviro/science story, I’ll mention Discover and Ensia; architecture editors find out about Dwell; education editors are […]

Oscar time

Oscar time

To say that I originally underestimated the reach of the Oscar Pistorius story would be a massive understatement. I heard the early reports on talk radio, and though I knew who he was, I didn’t realize how famous he was throughout the world.

Mandela, from Parliament and Prison

Mandela, from Parliament and Prison

Reporting and filing two complete stories in one day is not the schedule I normally run on, but talking to people about the person who helped them clarify their purpose and vision is powerful stuff. I started out the morning visiting one of the prisons where Mandela was held–one that is still maximum security–for this […]