Fearless innovator in online and mobile news gathering and distribution techniques
Imagineer at connecting and engaging communities with civic news and information
Expert at managing, creating and teaching journalism and technology
Authority on media ethics
- Creating the future of journalism through the innovative nonprofit startup, NOWCastSA, a local independent online news platform, similar to public television on the Internet. Initially funded by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, with matching funds from CI:NOW, NOWCastSA’s mission is to promote and facilitate an inclusive civic conversation through education, training, community news and multimedia. It is achieving sustainability through support from underwriting, sponsorships, grants and donations.
- Principal in WilCharMedia, which provides online strategy, editing, publishing, design and multimedia services.
- Drawing on our award-winning online expertise and our background as highly acclaimed journalists, we provide clients with personalized solutions designed to leverage the potential of social media and grassroots engagement.
- We specialize in helping news organizations, non-profits and campaigns that require expertise in politics, finance and technology.
- Clients include Building43.com, an editorial venture of Rackspace Hosting and National Neighborhood Indictor Partnership, a collaborative effort by the Urban Institute to further development and use of neighborhood information systems in local policymaking and community building.
Adjunct Professor of Journalism
- Revamped and updated the class formerly known as Print Journalism, a required course for all English and Communication Arts students.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
- Introduced convergence and multiplatform reporting concepts, techniques and requirements to News Reporting and Writing (Jour. 102), Interviewing (Jour. 486) and Advanced Reporting (Jour. 310).
- Created entirely new syllabus and course structures in Web Publishing and Design (Jour. 170), Forms of Journalistic Writing/Digital Storytelling (Jour. 445), and an experimental course in comparative analysis and construction of Content Management Systems from WordPress to Drupal and Django (Independent Study). Students built personal Web sites, topic Web sites and a prototype of the site for the Journalism School, they participate in group journalism blogs, live-blog breaking news events and experiment with new digital news delivery/broadcast systems such as Twitter and Utterz. In Digital Storytelling, students also produce podcasts, audio slideshows and video for the Web. The Content Management System class is building and designing the back end system and Website for the Associated Press Managing Editors conference, another for a university neighborhood Wiki and another for the Journalism School.
- Selected as a faculty leader for the year-long 21st Century Knight Foundation News Challenge project in which students from seven universities and colleges collaborated in a groundbreaking Innovation Incubator Creation Nets process to design and proscribe a unique news gathering and delivery vehicle to connect a news organization with young members of its community.
- Called on as a frequent guest speaker in classes at UNLV and other institutions to incorporate convergence and innovative new media components, concepts and techniques.
- Sought after spokesperson on topics including media ethics, blogging ethics and journalism practice and theory. Facilitated favorable coverage for the Hank Greenspun School from local print and broadcast media and the Poynter Institute and was a regularly featured guest on KNPR, the Las Vegas public radio station.
- In 2008, led a team of four journalism students to livestream the Democratic National Convention in Denver using Nokia N-95 phones, producing multiple interactive webcasts.
MySanAntonio.com, San Antonio
2003 to 2006
- Dramatically improved the site, making it top-ranked, regionally and nationally for online news delivery, design and innovation. Unique users rose 23% year-over-year to 1.03 million in 2005, double the industry average. Managed the site’s unique newspaper/TV partnership and handled in-print and Web-based marketing, including writing copy and online pitches that elicited favorable coverage and treatment from industry journals.
- Focused enormous energy on mentoring and training my staff to produce creative and original Web-only content. What my 10-person staff produced was ranked on par with the work of staffs six times that size at the NYTimes.com, WashingtonPost.com and Boston.com.
- Design innovations: Directed two redesigns of the entire Website, in addition to designs of dozens of new and special sections, including a neighbors section with a unique geography- based, mouse-over navigation design. Directed design of projects including a virtual tour of the River Walk and a virtual tour of a new wing at the San Antonio Museum of Art.
TheStreet.com, New York City
- From an office in San Antonio, managed writers and editors on three continents, traveling to New York every six weeks for senior-level meetings. Published and directed the entire Web site for a week when TSC’s Wall Street offices were evacuated after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
- Assigned and edited sophisticated reports critiquing publicly traded companies’ accounting and disclosure practices; developed contributor blogs; created special packages and online events.
- Managing Editor, RealMoney, TheStreet.com’s subscription site, aimed at individual investors. Developed all levels of content and established writer guidelines. Managed $1.2 million annual budget.
- Managing Editor, StreetInsight, a site for institutional and professional investors. Supervised salaried staff and more than 35 contributors, including hedge fund, portfolio and money managers, maintaining the highest level of integrity and accountability.
San Antonio Express-News
- Changed the focus from predictable and parochial to a nationally recognized section with in-depth local, regional, national and international content. The section was named “Best in the Business” by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in 1999.
- Initiated legislative coverage by business reporters and broadened the section’s scope by routinely assigning stories from writers in the Washington, D.C. and Mexico City bureaus.
- Managed a staff of 12 with an annual budget of nearly $500,000.
- Mentored writers, helping them enhance articles by using databases, spreadsheets and Internet research.
The Dallas Morning News
- Did the first in-depth analysis on the business background of then-gubernatorial candidate George W. Bush. My analysis of his business dealings, particularly his curiously well-timed sale of Harken Energy stock, has been widely cited, including in the Bush biography, First Son.
- My series on state agencies’ ill-advised investments in risky derivatives prompted a state auditor’s investigation and corrective legislation, months before derivative investments bankrupted Orange County, California, focusing national attention on the problem.
- Reported on Texas agencies’ contradictory policies toward the Emu-breeding industry. On publication, the speculative Emu market in Texas plummeted.
San Francisco Examiner
- Persistent coverage of financier Michael Milken prompted further congressional inquiry by revealing the breadth of his empire, including hundreds of covert limited partnerships.
- Exposed Bank of America’s founding role in Bank of Commerce and Credit International, which prosecutors found to be a corrupt criminal enterprise with worldwide tentacles.
- Detailed inequities in California’s bailout of Executive Life Insurance Co.
- Revealed the financial and legal implications to investors and taxpayers of some particularly risky municipal bonds, prompting the indictment of the investment banker.
- Chronicled the collapse of a savings and loan that gambled in the futures market.
- Prompted new guidelines from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by showing how their subcontractors were cheating victims of the 1991 Oakland Hills fire.
- Work included spot news, perspective and weekend pieces for daily newspapers across the country on the indictments, recall and impeachment of then-Gov. Evan Meecham and the indictments of financier Charles Keating.
- Award-winning stories for the alternative weekly, The New Times, included a sobering examination of the local public defender system which netted a prestigious Silver Gavel certificate of merit award from the American Bar Association.
- As a political/business columnist for Arizona Trend business magazine, chronicled Arizona’s economic collapse, critiqued the state attorney general’s office and profiled institutions and people.
- Clients included the Philadelphia Inquirer, Newsday, Charlotte Observer, Orlando Sentinel, The Dallas Morning News, San Jose Mercury News, National Law Journal, American Banker and The New York Times.
Mesa, Arizona Tribune
- Won local and state awards for exposing the political motivation behind unsubstantiated cocaine conspiracy indictments against Phoenix Suns basketball players.
- Became the first reporter in Arizona history to obtain, publish and critique secret grand jury transcripts. My coverage of the Suns case prompted a state grand jury investigation, but I was protected by the Arizona shield law.
- Led the widely acclaimed coverage of the 1987 crash in Detroit of a Phoenix-bound jet.
- Key contributor to the paper’s six-month investigation into aviation safety, prompted by the 1985 crash of a Delta jet at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, a project that was a 1985 Pulitzer finalist.
- Covered FBI, DEA, ATF, IRS and federal courts, including cases in Dallas and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans.
- Broke the story in 1983 about cocaine use among Dallas Cowboy players, who had previously been considered untouchable by both law enforcement and the media.
- Coverage of southern New Jersey included education, crime, feature stories and aspects of the Iranian hostage crisis.
- While assigned to the paper’s Wilmington, Del., bureau, reported on the return of mass suicide victims to Dover Air Force Base from Jonestown, Guyana.
Rowan State University (formerly Glassboro State College)
B. A., Communications/Journalism, 1980
Leadership San Antonio XXIII, 1997-98
Cemanahuac School, Cuernavaca, Mexico
Spanish, Archeology, 1974
* Pulitzer Prize Finalist
Team effort, Public Service Local Reporting, 1985
* Newspaper Association of America, Digital Edge Awards, finalist 2006
Best Overall News site
(other finalists were NYTimes.com; Boston.com and WashingtonPost.com)
* Texas Associated Press Managing Editors, Best in Texas, 2005
* Editor and Publisher, Eppy finalist, 2005
Best Internet News Service, under 1 million
Best Overall Local TV/Cable-affiliated Internet Service
* Press Club of Dallas Katie Awards, finalist 2005
Best News Web site
* Hearst Monthly Honors 2005
Special Features on the Web, 4 first place and 3 second place
Breaking News on the Web, 3 first place, 3 second place, 3 third place
* Online News Association, 2002
Finalist, General Excellence in Online Journalism
Finalist, Breaking News: 9/11 Coverage
* Society of American Business Editors and Writers
Best in the Business (Business Section), 1999
* Society of American Business Editors and Writers
Certificate of Merit: Spot News, 1998
* American Bar Association
Silver Gavel Certificate of Merit, 1989
* Arizona Press Club
Second Place, Business/Financial Writing, 1989
* Arizona Newspaper Publishers Association
Second Place, Outstanding Journalistic Achievement, 1988
* Maricopa County Bar Association, 1988
First Place, Daily News Reporting
First Place, Feature-Weeklies
Third Place, Feature-Weeklies
* Arizona Press Club, 1987
Second Place, Explanatory Reporting
Third Place, Investigative Reporting
* Cox Newspapers
Second Place, Deadline Writing, 1987
* UPI Texas Newspaper Awards
Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1986
* UPI Texas Newspaper Awards
First Place, Team Effort, 1986
* Champion-Tuck School of Business
Second Place, Economic Reporting, 1985
* Dallas Press Club
Finalist, Specialty Writing, 1984
Workshops, conferences, training and lecturing
BlogWorld New Media Expo
Las Vegas, October 2007
Panelist: Blogging Ethics
Associated Press Managing Editors News Train conference
San Antonio, August 2005
Participant: Online Leadership, Coaching Writers, Skeptical Editing
Editor & Publisher Interactive Media Conference
New Orleans, June 2005
Participant: Interactivity, Advertising, Multimedia and Blogging
Newspaper Association of America Connections conference
Dallas, March 2005
Speaker: Making convergence work
Web Publishing class, University of Texas
Austin, November 2005
Guest lecturer: How online news organizations publish news articles
5th International Symposium on Online Journalism
sponsored by the Knight Chair in Journalism
University of Texas, Austin, April 2004
Moderator and Presenter: Online news status, has it become indispensable?
Investigative Reporters and Editors conference
Speaker/Trainer: How to do investigative reporting while covering a beat