Follow the Money.—’Deep Throat’ in “All the President’s Men”
Question everything. Every stripe, every star, every word spoken. Everything.—Ernest Gaines
Going Deep by Asking Tough Questions
I learned long ago, that money is nearly always the motivation behind the behavior of the subjects in my stories, even if politics is their key to gaining wealth. The maintenance of almost every system of social, economic and political oppression is motivated by money.
Those who create and benefit from those institutional barriers to equity and parity want to control money and ensure that access to true wealth and power remain in the hands of a limited few. This is a truth I learned very early.
I came into a world of activists and activism during one of America’s most volatile times in history where I developed a fearlessness about challenging perceived authority on their wrongdoing. I spent time with some of the best journalists in the industry from early childhood watching them confront authority to expose the truth.
Nobody is too powerful to be asked hard or probing questions, especially when they’re protecting or hiding harmful activities or information that needs exposure.
That instilled in me the desire to go deep in my stories to learn the truths behind the “official version” of each narrative. I committed to doing that even if it means being adversarial and challenging other people in positions of perceived power.
My renowned activist artist and professor father also was an entertainment journalist who interviewed the likes of Billy Dee Williams and John Wayne. It’s because of my experience growing up as the child of a famed artist who was pushed in interviews with media to say things that were later twisted for effect that I’m not a “do whatever I have to for a story” reporter.
But, I learned by witnessing activism that led to substantial history-making change that nobody is too powerful to be asked hard or probing questions, especially when they’re protecting or hiding harmful activities or information that needs exposure.
My Reputation for Getting the Story Right
Never afraid to ask hard questions and follow up with harder ones until I got answers, I began doing narrative long-form and hard news journalism as a stringer for local publications in 1997. I began working as a full-time freelance print journalist in 1998 when I also fully launched my online journalism and content writing career.
I developed a reputation early in my career of a reporter no one wanted to get a call from if they knew I was writing an investigative or hard news piece.
My goal is to get the answers that tell the whole story right while maintaining my integrity. I’d rather not write a story at all than write a deliberately untruthful or misleading one.
Once, when I was writing a story about a local museum that had eliminated its diverse staff and exhibitions, the museum’s director said to me, “Wow. I was expecting someone nicer. I wasn’t expecting Oprah Winfrey to show up.” I informed them I am a real journalist and thanked them for the compliment.
Though I ask hard questions when necessary, it’s not my nature to be belligerent. I am tough when I need to be as many who know me will confirm. But, I also know how to ask the right questions with the appropriate amount of finesse and tact when necessary.
My goal is to get the answers that tell the whole story right while maintaining my integrity. I’d rather not write a story at all than writing a deliberately untruthful or misleading one.
Overview of My Work
While the story I shared the anecdote above about the stunned museum director isn’t in this portfolio, below are both links to recent work and previous professional work. The latter shows writing samples for magazines and other print publications from that time through 1997-2005. Much of what you’ll see here are clips from major online publications for which I wrote in the early 2000s.
The portfolio also shows journalism work completed in 2011. That was during my hiatus from hard news and investigative journalism which happened during the time the news industry transitioning. I hadn’t become aware, yet, of new opportunities to do hard news and investigative journalism for stable platforms and publications that unabashedly speak truth to power.
I’m known for ‘scoops’ but being first to press is not always my goal. Being the best story published.
Most of the recent work shown below is that which I’ve done for consumer or small business audiences. Except for one piece done for TODAY.com, it’s not hard news in nature. But it shows I have a grasp on the topics I’ve written about in each blog post or article.
All are posts or articles I pitched, developed, and interviewed experts or sources for who provided context for the stories or posts. These skills are transferable to hard news and investigative journalism in these areas as they relate to my focus areas and the subjects of the articles or posts. I’m known for scoops but being first to press is not always my goal. Being the best story published is. They are always unique and, if not exclusive, contain exclusive elements or information.
My recent work and past work portfolio not only gives you a strong idea of the kind of work I have done previously, but it also shows the level, length, breadth, and consistency of my professional writing experience. If, after reviewing this work, you want to work with me on projects in areas where I focus or specialize, please contact me and let’s talk.
I’m known for my outstanding work but please be assured that if I’m uncertain I can complete your project or assignment with excellence, I will not accept your work.
Immigration assignment at North Carolina high school sparks racism debate
Cybersecurity and Data Security
4 types of identity fraud thieves bet you won’t monitor against
Choosing Good Passwords: Keeping Your Secrets Safe from Digital Thieves
Is How You Use Social Media Setting You Up for Identity Theft?
How to implement a cybersecurity plan for your law practice
Lawyernomics by Avvo
Cybersecurity: does your small law firm address this serious business risk?
Lawyernomics by Avvo
Downfall of a Black Syndication Kingpin
Black Enterprise Magazine (My award-winning cover story.)
Poor Timing? How HB87 hurts Georgia businesses
Georgia Minority Business Magazine (defunct)
(If for some reason the Box.com widget below doesn’t load, click here to see the work.)
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