Monthly Archives: March 2013

Goodbye Sun-Times Media, hello journalism


Today I submitted my resignation. My last day as a Pioneer Press/Sun-Times Media Group employee will be April 9. 

There, I think I’ve finally learned how not to bury the lede :-)

Before we get any further, I want to clarify something about the title of this post.

It doesn’t mean that I’ve not been doing journalism in my job at STMG. In fact, as many of you know, I bristle at the “big J” journalism definiton of the same. 

This post’s title just means that, in leaving this job, I’m not leaving the media business. So you’re not through with me yet. I will always be a reporter, even if I don’t always report. It should go without saying that I will always be a blogger.

I now plan to freelance, work on things I am passionate about and spend more time with my family, especially my almost-18-month-old son (suck it, Sheryl Sandberg). I am open to any and all opportunities though. If you have something you want to talk about, let me know. I also might be lauching an online publication/business of my own. Stay tuned.

Especially to those whom I haven’t spoken much recently, it may seem odd that a person who wrote this is now willingly leaving a full-time staff editorial job at an actual print newspaper. A lot can change in the space of a just few years though.

As I just told my editors, this was not an easy decision. I worked for nearly five years to become a journalist. I didn’t study it as an undergrad. I didn’t edit my college or high school paper; I didn’t even write for either paper. I didn’t go to journalism school. I just shoved my way into it by sheer force of will. Maybe one day I’ll tell this story in greater detail. 

Given all that, it wasn’t easy to walk away from this opportunity. I want to thank everyone who has advised me. You know who you are.

There is a great deal more to say, but I something else I’ve learned in recent years is the value of not putting everything out there. Yes, in a world of sharing everything and constant TMI, some things should still remain unsaid. 

I still believe every word of this though.

So… if you have questions, you know where to find me. In the meantime, I have a bunch of stories to work on. 


Calling all journalists: share your PR horror stories

I’m doing a panel tomorrow for these folks‘ annual conference. I’m repping community/local media i.e. the little guys :-) We also have someone on the panel from the Chicago Tribune, a public radio station, etc.

The topic? What is ALWAYS the topic when a bunch of journalists and PR people get into a room together? How to pitch us, that’s what they want to know.

They want to know how to not be annoying, what are the best ways to pitch and what are the ways that make us slam our heads on our desks.

They want to know how to cold-call a reporter they’ve never interacted with. 

They want to hear horror stories about what NOT to do and good stories about when a PR person was extremely helpful.

I have my own, but please share yours in the comments so I have more fodder for the panel. 

While I don’t know if they’ll all be in the room for our panel, there are over 400 people registered for this conference so here’s your chance to tell a TON of PR people something that will hopefully ripple throughout the industry. 

Thanks in advance!