Today’s #MediaMonday comes to us from Russell Adams, deputy bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal’s corporate bureau. If you’ve seen or heard of the blockbuster movie, “Tag,” Adams’ article in the Journal some six years ago served as the movie-maker’s inspiration. I wrote about it a few weeks ago
Russell, time to share:
I started at the Journal in 2005 as a sports reporter for Pursuits and Weekend Journal. I later joined the Media & Marketing group where I spent four years covering the newspaper and magazine industries. In 2012 I made the transition to editing.
In my current job I help oversee a group of about 15 reporters whose beats include telecom, retail, transportation, alcohol/tobacco, small business, executive compensation and industrial conglomerates.
I didn't even consider a career in journalism until after college. I majored in Spanish at Georgetown and after graduation I moved home to San Diego, naively assuming that companies there would be thrilled to hire a bilingual candidate with a degree from Georgetown. They weren't. After a summer living with my parents, I decided I wanted to try writing, so I started applying to every newspaper I could find in Southern California. A small business newspaper called the San Diego Daily Transcript offered me an internship, which turned into a full-time job covering local law firms.
Eventually I decided I wanted to get into sports writing. I had heard that a lot of writers at Sports Illustrated came from Columbia Journalism School, so I applied, got in and headed to New York in 2001. After Columbia, I landed an internship with Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal, where I wound up spending several years covering the business of Major League Baseball before joining the WSJ to write about sports.
One of the great things about the Journal is its openness to stories far outside of its core coverage. That's helped me a lot, since I'm much better at writing about stuff that's not important. The stories that I'm proudest of tend to fall into that category. In sports, I went to Puerto Rico to spend a day with the woman who birthed three major league catchers, I followed around the only female high school football coach in Texas and I traveled to Spain to track down the architects of the influential NBA website Hoopshype: three 29-year-old Spaniards who together had been to a total of two pro basketball games.
As an editor, I've had the time and freedom to move even further afield. The paper gave me the green light to try to answer a question that has dogged me since childhood: Why are the tacos at Jack in the Box so good even though everything about them is so bad? The paper let me explore the enduring appeal of my favorite movie, "The Shawshank Redemption" and what it's meant -- financially and otherwise -- for the people who made and starred in it. And then there's Tag.
When I'm not working I spend most of my time with my wife and 6-year-old daughter, trying to figure out if we'll ever be able to move out of the one-bedroom Manhattan apartment we share.