I knew that I wanted to tell stories when I was a teenager. I had always enjoyed writing short, fictional stories in grade school, middle and high school, but later in high school I discovered journalism.
I can picture the moment in my mind’s eye: I was sitting at our kitchen table, working on something (maybe homework), and NPR was playing on the boombox on the windowsill behind me. I heard a story that made me stop what I was doing and just listen to it unfold. Twenty years later I cannot recall what that story was about, but I do remember how it made me feel. I laughed. I cried. And I felt like I learned something after hearing that story. I knew that was an experience I wanted to create for other people through my own storytelling.
While years of experience reporting has improved my journalism skills, my approach to reporting remains mostly the same. My story ideas generally come from an awareness about what’s going on in my community and a genuine curiosity in why something is the way it is.
I also approach every story with respect for my sources and respect for the reporting process.
Below are some of the stories I have produced:
Stories produced for NPR:
Fish return to a mining county river:
Halt to mining permit draws fire in coal country:
Morgantown, W.Va., bucks unemployment trend:
Veterans navigate rapids after war duty:
Tension, emotion run high at mine-safety meeting:
Stories produced for West Virginia Public Broadcasting:
The Cheat Canyon garners national attention and protection (9/12/14):
(The following is a very small sample of the hundreds of stories of I produced between 2003 and 2011 for this network. The network overhauled its website recently and most older stories lost their presence on the site as a result.)
The untold history of Mother’s Day:
WV’s ice mountain losing its reserve with warming temps:
Jessica Lynch reacts to the story of her rescue:
Discovering Thunderstruck Cave:
I have also written stories that have appeared in The Charleston Gazette, the State Journal, and Wonderful West Virginia.
Consulting: I have worked with Allegheny Mountain Radio and the Traveling 219 project in West Virginia to help reporters focus story ideas and improve story production.