As a reporter at the Duluth News Tribune, my core job responsibility is daily reporting on stories tied, broadly, to the arts and entertainment landscape in on our ten-county Northland coverage area. That includes weekly roundups of “Best Bets” as well as weekly features, frequent briefs, a weekly column, and other stories. Examples of my reporting work at the News Tribune include:
- From Odessa to Duluth: The journey of Bob Dylan’s grandparents (March 28, 2022). I traced the journey of Zigman and Anna Zimmerman, who fled pogroms in what is today Ukraine. This article won first place in the Minnesota Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Contest, arts and entertainment story, for papers of the News Tribune’s size.
- “Mr. Ragtime” Max Morath, public TV pioneer, is happily living his coda in Duluth (Dec. 26, 2022). Out of the blue I received an email from a man in Maine whose ragtime revue was presenting a lifetime achievement award to one of the genre’s living legends. The honoree, as it happens, lives just up the hill.
- Abukhodair family brings Palestinian cuisine to Duluth (Jan. 11, 2023). It was hard to convey the sheer magic of the spread (above) that Lyla Abukhodair and her family laid out for my colleagues and me. Response to this article suggests I’m not the only one to have been enchanted.
- At The North 103.3, a year into PBS North ownership, changes cause excitement, concern (Feb. 7, 2023). A complex story of a unique radio station at a time of transition.
- Northlandia: Where overnight boxcar stays come with Wi-Fi, free breakfast (March 4, 2023). The most-read article I’ve yet written for the News Tribune. Train people go hard.
- Lake Superior Railroad Museum celebrates 50 years as a “world-class” attraction (March 15, 2023). I was pleased to have this article republished in the museum’s member magazine, The Junction.
- Duluth musician, therapist, and activist Diona Johnson dies at 35 (April 13, 2023). I deeply appreciate the trust Di Jay’s husband and associates placed in me to tell her story.
- How much should a Duluth Homegrown ticket cost? (April 24, 2023). Duluth has an extraordinary music festival full of local artists — some of whom have questioned the event’s economic model.
- The legacy of “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” (May 2, 2023). In the wake of Gordon Lightfoot’s death, I talked to people on Lake Superior who have seen the impact of his hit ballad.
- Duluth’s “River Train” rides again (Aug. 2, 2023). The first excursion in over three years for Duluth’s oldest scenic railroad spotlighted not only the renovated coaches but new developments on the St. Louis River Estuary.
- $55 million Duluth Armory renovation tantalizingly close to becoming reality (Aug. 7, 2023). Preservationists have been keeping the faith for decades, and now their faith might finally be rewarded.
I’ve also recently been doing some writing for Arts Midwest — including the stories of Starr Chief Eagle (May 4, 2023), Chicago’s Albany Park Theater Project (July 5, 2023), and Rock the Rez (Aug. 29, 2023). For U.S. News, I wrote about living in Duluth, Minnesota (June 2023).
Prior to my Duluth move, I reported extensively on music for The Current (Minnesota Public Radio). Examples of my reporting for The Current include:
- Infographic: Music rights 101 (May 19, 2014). Explaining the inexplicable.
- Minnesota musicians having “panic and anxiety” over planned Affordable Care Act repeal (Jan. 19, 2017). This article won a Page One award from the Minnesota Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
- Music legend Prince dies at age 57 (April 21, 2016). This obituary may be the most widely read piece I’ll ever write.
- Why bassist Liz Draper is a dazzling collaborator — and now, solo artist (Oct. 27, 2021). I appreciated the opportunity to spotlight some of the artists who are crucial, but little-known, members of the music community.
At The Current I also worked for several years on a project called Music News. It took various incarnations, ranging from a web post complementing a host’s on-air break to a daily video post and podcast; in the latter form, I was the feature’s principal writer and co-hosted with my colleague Jade.
I also reported for City Pages; unfortunately, that alt-weekly was pulled off the internet when it ceased publishing in 2020, and its archives are not readily available. From 2007 to 2013, I reported for the Twin Cities Daily Planet, a nonprofit citizen journalism project where I also served as arts editor.