A selection of articles I've written

Columbia Journalism Review

"Magazines find there’s little time to fact-check online"

Most great magazines share a commitment to rigorous fact-checking in print. But they are struggling to maintain a similar standard for their online content. My co-author, Susan Currie Sivek, and I take a look at the challenges and strategies magazines are employing.

Published March 23, 2017

"‘A trillion trillion’: Recent notable corrections from major publications"

Fact-checking is serious businesses. But on the lighter side, here are a few of our favorite online corrections from 2016.

Published March 23, 2017

Belt Magazine

"All Sales Final" 

River North has undergone an almost complete transformation in the past four decades, from a place of manufacturing to a locus of consumption. But in the shadow of the new construction, an older, three-story building remains: Clark & Barlow Hardware, a business that served Chicago’s construction, manufacturing, and railroad industries for more than a century. A place that is closing.

Published June 16, 2016.

In These Times

"Built to trash: Is 'Heirloom Design' the cure for consumption?"

By the time my own children were born, America was flooded with cheap and cheaply made goods. So while my parents continued working at the sturdy antique desks they inherited from my grandparents and sleeping beneath a hand-crocheted bedspread, my children and their friends became the first and last owners of a seemingly endless supply of plastic toys and particle-board furniture.  We can’t, however, only blame the quantity and quality of Chinese goods for the environmental and other consequences of this transoceanic factory-to-waste stream. For that we can blame the two horsemen of the modern consumer apocalypse: functional obsolescence and fashion obsolescence.

Published October 21, 2009

Chicago Magazine

"Lake Effect"

Paddling Lake Michigan had long been a dream for two dedicated Chicago kayakers. But last fall’s attempt to make a 50-mile crossing brought them face to face with the perils of adventure.

Published May 26, 2007

Chicago Tribune

"It came from beneath the lawn chair: if you think you're safe from Lyme disease in your own backyard, think again" 

I had heard of Lyme, the disease named for the town of Old Lyme, Conn., where in 1975 a peculiar outbreak of what appeared to be juvenile arthritis turned out to be the later stages of an illness caused by a tick-borne bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi. I knew that it caused a bull's-eye rash and light flu symptoms at first, and that left untreated, it could cause chronic arthritis, cardiac problems and neurological symptoms. But I also knew--or thought I knew--that Lyme disease wasn't a concern in Illinois. Had I just won the infectious-disease equivalent of the lottery?

Published August 21, 2005