The Red Pen of Doom

Conventional wisdom about writing is conventionally wrong.

Why the world needs newspapers more than ever

Today’s world runs on ideas, spread by the Series of Tubes–and those ideas are made of words. At the foundation of this pyramid of words and ideas sits an endangered … Continue reading

August 18, 2016 · 3 Comments

The past, present and future of news

This post is like X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, except with printing presses and the web instead of Hugh Jackman. We’ll go back in time, return to the present and … Continue reading

June 22, 2016 · 6 Comments

The killer beside you

The first murderer I ever met was tall and awkward, with curly hair. But this was sixth grade, and we were all a bit awkward. Every one of us. This … Continue reading

June 17, 2016 · 6 Comments

Man leads police on 112 mph chase, crashes, then flees with his pet monkey

Photo courtesy of the Burien Police Department. This sounds like an Onion story. But it’s not. As a reformed journalist and unrepentant fan of weird news, this story is classic.┬áLet’s … Continue reading

May 5, 2016 · 7 Comments

Defense against the Dark Arts: Propaganda vs. journalism and rhetoric

As the race for the White House gears up, you are being bombarded with stories, 30-second ads, attack tweets and Instagram videos. Back in the 1970s, the average person got … Continue reading

September 24, 2015 · 2 Comments

‘Native advertising’ disguised as news: miracle money or menace to journalism?

You have to feel for journalists and publishers, since everybody else insists on (a) swiping content from newspapers and magazines, (b) “aggregating” all that content on the Series of Tubes … Continue reading

August 9, 2014 · 4 Comments

Mixed Writing Arts is to writing as MMA is to fighting

Since the dawn of time, writers have spent their lives toiling in their own secret tribes and guilds, each clan claiming to have mastered the One True Art. Copywriters swore … Continue reading

December 4, 2013 · 1 Comment