What It’s Like To Work In News

Thanks to Keith Miles for this photo of me, which he took at the city's kickoff for its 35-year planning process.

Thanks to Keith Miles for this photo of me, which he took at the city’s kickoff for its 35-year planning process.

When I was a reporter in The Tennessean’s Williamson County office, one of the things I could count on was a daily phone call from a cranky but hilarious school board member who absolutely loved to gossip about his fellow board members and make outlandishly inflammatory accusations of school administrators.

These calls were frequently conducted from his bathtub and often he’d be smoking at the same time. I know this because I could hear the splashing and exhaling. Also, because I asked him. If a man is naked when he calls, it’s best to know it up front.

Anyway, this guy is on a long list of characters I’ve been graced to know because of what I do for a living.

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The One Thing vs. The Whole Thing

Guest appearance at Lipscomb. I was invited by Dr. Jimmy McCollum, who serves on The Tennessean's Advisory Board.

“I’m a journalist. I work at The Tennessean. I’m in charge of The Tennessean’s websites.”

This is how I’d answer questions like, “And what do you do?”

A strong community brand had become my own personal identity, and the rest of the things that could have made me a better, richer person were neglected at the expense of my professional goals. Continue reading

Nashville: Add Pulitzer to your profile

This photo was part of The Tennessean’s coverage of last year’s flood. By Larry McCormack / The Tennessean

The Tennessean was announced yesterday as a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for our coverage of last May’s crippling, record-shattering floods.

Finalists and winners are named at the same time, and it is beyond an honor to be included in this group. To put a Nashville spin on it: It’s like the Grammys. If you’re nominated, you call all your relatives, slam the heck out of Twitter and Facebook, pop open something bubbly, and proudly update your digital profiles with the likes of “Pulitzer-recognized journalist…”

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Comfort from my daughter’s ‘present’ box

Residents are evacuated in Fieldstone Farms in Franklin on May 2, 2010. Photo by Mandy Lunn / The Tennessean.

Hidden in my closet is a box of small presents for my daughter, which I restock from the dollar aisle at Target and draw from when I think she needs a pick-me-up. This morning, which is the 12th after the floods began, I turned to the present box impulsively.  Continue reading

Nashville floods, work overwhelms, heart sinks

This is my neighborhood, Fieldstone Farms.

I’m a journalist with The Tennessean. Because of overwhelming flooding in our city the last four days, my “day job” has been more like a “round the clock” job. That’s why I haven’t posted in a while.

I’m not complaining. Getting information to people is an important part of helping my city overcome this disaster.

Here is a link to our ongoing Nashville Flood coverage. And here is a list of “dos” and “don’ts”, including what you can do to help.

I hope you and your family are safe and dry.