As managing editor of The Greenville News I am the top editor in the newsroom with responsibility for our digital platforms and print products.
I enjoy making sense of a complex world. That’s what makes me a journalist.
When I graduated from Northwestern University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees, journalism meant writing stories or capturing images on film. The end result was a story and pictures.
Today’s journalists blog, Tweet and crunch numbers. They engage with the subjects of their stories and their readers on social networks. They shoot video and record audio. And they use those same tools to build personal brands.
But no matter the tools, it still comes down to telling great stories.
As a cop reporter I stood with grim-faced police officers and coroners while they gathered clues, and then sat on couches with families as they grappled for answers.
I rode in the passenger seat of a Cadillac as the driver took me on a tour of the Chicago Southside neighborhoods ruled by the gang he hired to kill his friend.
As an investigative reporter I climbed into a 20-foot pit to sift through landfill trash looking for spending records that a university president hoped would never be read.
As a political reporter I sat in a living room ringed by FBI agents while an undercover informant told me how he used drugs and piles of cash to buy the votes of state lawmakers.
As an editor I directed teams of reporters looking for ways to save the lives of breast cancer victims, make our schools better and hold the powerful accountable to the people who put them in office.
For the past decade I’ve worked with reporters, photographers, graphic artists and editors in finding ways to present those stories on digital platforms. And I've been developing new products and the technology that powers them.
Film demands more when capturing an image. I like how it feels to advance it in the camera before triggering the shutter. I like how you have to roll it back into the canister after shooting the last frame. And that you won't see the results until it gets processed. I like the magic of the chemistry that reveals in the emulsion what you saw through the viewfinder.
I like the grain and the tonal range and the realism that film brings to a photograph — an analog look without the need for digital filters.
But mostly I like film's permanence. How you can hold it up to the light and see the images. How it can't be deleted. How it feels more tangible when light is captured on film — like a moment frozen.
Click on an image to view a collection of photos.
You're probably sensing a pattern here.
I like analog.
While I can appreciate the convenience of digital music, I don't find it as engaging as vinyl. Listening to music — truly enjoying music — takes more than clicking a mouse or tapping a screen. Listening to music means pulling an album off the shelf, sliding the vinyl out of the sleeve, placing it on the turntable and giving it a quick cleaning.
It means hearing the needle drop just before the music comes alive. You might hear an occasional pop or click with a vinyl record. But for music recorded in the 40s or 50s or 60s, that's part of the experience.
'Goin' Out of My Head' was recorded Dec. 7, 8 and 22, 1965, at Van Gelder Studios in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, according to the liner notes. I picked it up at Lunchbox Records in Charlotte.
Also purchased at Lunchbox Records, this one completes my collection of Steely Dan albums from 1972's Can't Buy A Thrill through Gaucho in 1980.
'You stepped Out Of A Dream' was recorded in 1961. Shearing's album covers are strangely provocative. Not necessarily by today's standards, but certainly racy for their time.