About

I am an assistant professor at Northeastern University’s School of Journalism, specializing in digital media and alternative business models for news. I contribute media and political commentaries to The Huffington Post and articles about media topics  to the Nieman Journalism Lab. From 2007-2011 I wrote a weekly online column for The Guardian and was a finalist for a Syracuse University Mirror Award in media commentary in both 2008 and 2009.

My book on the New Haven Independent and other community news sites, “The Wired City: Reimagining Journalism and Civic Life in the Post-Newspaper Age,” was published by  University of Massachusetts in June 2013. “The Wired City” has been critically praised by the Columbia Journalism Review, The Boston Globe, CommonWealth Magazine and other publications and websites.

I’m a regular panelist “Beat the Press,” a weekly roundtable program on media issues, on WGBH-TV (Channel 2). In 2012, “Beat the Press” won the National Press Club’s Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism after previously winning it in 2001, 2004 and 2005.

From 1991 through 2005 I worked at The Boston Phoenix, mostly as the alt-weekly’s media columnist. While at the Phoenix, I won the 2001 Rowse Award and the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ 1999 award for media reporting. The Phoenix, at one time the largest weekly paper in New England, ceased publication in March 2013.

My blog, Media Nation, is a nationally recognized source of news and commentary, and is listed on the Project for Excellence in Journalism’s Daily Briefing page. In 2011 Media Nation won a CBS Boston “Most Valuable Blogger” Award.

On the summit of Mt. Hancock.

On the summit of Mt. Hancock (south)

My book on the culture of dwarfism, “Little People: Learning to See the World Through My Daughter’s Eyes,” originally published by Rodale in 2003, is now available in a free online edition issued under a Creative Commons license, as well as a high-quality, print-on-demand paperback edition. “Little People” was praised by The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Providence Journal, and Publishers Weekly, and was featured by NPR, Salon, and Child Magazine.

From 1979 through 1989 I worked as a reporter for The Daily Times Chronicle of Woburn, Mass., where I covered the trial at the center of Jonathan Harr’s book “A Civil Action.” My account of the case and its aftermath is online here.

On July 21, 2007, my son, Tim, and I hiked to the northern and southern summits of Mt. Hancock, my 47th and 48th (and final) 4,000-foot mountains in New Hampshire, finishing a quest I had begun in 1968.