With a TWIST!
No, we aren’t posting story pitch tips or media lists, but instead great stories from the media themselves about their lives, their work and other little known facts! Think of it as your first “networking” opportunity of the week!
So, Mike, time to share!
What do you want to tell the blogosphere about yourself today?
I never had any intention of becoming a journalist. I majored in economics in college (I've never used my degree ... my parents are so proud). During my time at Elmira College in Elmira, N.Y., I was a competitive runner and the local newspaper had a weekly running column. When the powers that be discontinued it, I was upset because that meant the end of all my free publicity. So I wrote a letter to the editor complaining about it ... that was back when we actually wrote letters on paper and put stamps on them and mailed them.
The executive editor of the newspaper called me the next day and the conversation went like this:
Him: "We're not going to publish your letter."
Me: "You're not?"
Him: "Nope. And we're not going to bring back the running column."
Me: "You're not?"
Him: "Nope. But your letter was really well written. How would you like a job covering sports for us?"
Me: "You're actually going to pay me to watch sports?
Me: "Done deal."
No resume. No background check. No drug test. No interview. That's how my journalism career was born. Since then, I've earned more than 50 awards for writing, editing and newspaper design. I've written on topics ranging from Nelson Mandela to teen moms, from jeans to genomics. My first job as a managing editor was at my hometown newspaper in Corning, N.Y., where my grandmother's neighbors would constantly barge into my office and insist that their church's pancake breakfast should be front-page news. That was so silly ... everyone knew that MY church's pancake breakfast got the front-page slot.
On a personal note, I am most proud of being the founding president of a foundation in upstate New York that raises money to help individuals with developmental disabilities, including my youngest sister. And on an even MORE personal note, despite a horrific bike crash (which was caught in frame-by-frame brilliance by a former colleague at the East Valley Tribune) I finished my first Ironman triathlon - 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run - at Ironman Arizona in 2008 ... and I'm still sore.