I write about innovation and creators, science and religion. UChicago, Nieman/TCJF

Michael Fitzgerald's Biography

Michael Fitzgerald writes stories about the people and ideas that shape our world. Along the way he’s played speed chess against an 11-year old national champion, interviewed Bill Gates at an armadillo race, pondered artificial life with a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and been the first person to rent a hydrogen-powered car.

His writing appears in the Boston Globe Magazine, The Economist, Fast Company, Inc. and the New York Times ...

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Nieman Journalism Fellow

2011 - Fellowship
The Nieman Fellowship program is the oldest and best-known study program for journalists in the world. More than 1,300 journalists from 91 countries and territories around the world have come to Harvard for a year of learning, exploration and fellowship.

American Society of Journalists and Authors

2011 - Outstanding Business and Technology
The American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) annual writing awards honor outstanding nonfiction work produced on a freelance basis during the past year.

What was your first job as a journalist?

Working half-time as a staff writer at a small technology monthly in Chicago.

Have you ever used a typewriter?

Yes, an electric Olympia. I still keep a manual typewriter around, in case of apocalypse.

How is social media changing news?

Making us spend more time on our personal brands than is good for our work. Improving our ability to find sources. Amplifying our work. Etc.

Fitz's Stockton: An interview with Commodore Stockton

recordnet.com — Commodore Robert F. Stockton, the Navy hero for whom Stockton is named, stopped by the newsroom the other day. Or the historical actor who plays him, Bart Bird, did. We asked the Commodore a few questions. Q: By my calculations, you are 220 years old. How you feeling? A: Feeling well.

The tiger that traveled to space

recordnet.com — A stuffed Pacific Tiger soared to the edge of space last Sunday, posed for a lovely picture and fell back to Earth.The little tiger hitched a ride on a "near-space" vehicle launched from Nevada carrying a camera subsystem built by University of the Pacific's female engineering students."We're definitely tooting their horn," Pacific Engineering Professor Ken Hughes said of the successful experiment.Jose Hernandez, the retired astronaut, conceived the

The tradition and science of Thanksgiving

recordnet.com — What is Thanksgiving, anyway?The holiday we receive is not the one the Pilgrims sent us. Like words in a game of "Telephone," it has changed in transmission.The original Thanksgiving in 1621 was a three-day feast that also featured hunting and entertainment.

Fitz's Stockton: For your eyes only - 007's car

recordnet.com — James Bond is No. 1 at the box office. So let's have a covert rendezvous with Stocktonian Mark Young, who owns Roger Moore's old Rolls Royce. Moore played Bond in seven films from 1973 to 1985. Young, 66, a retired psychiatrist, is self-deprecating about driving "Sir Roger's" 1976 Silver Shadow.

The postmodern postcard man

recordnet.com — Out of the blue, the mayor of Davenport, Iowa, received a letter from an 87-year-old Stockton man. Out tumbled a vintage postcard."I was in an antique shop here and found this old circa-1908 picture of your beautiful Davenport city hall," wrote the stranger, Lowell Joerg.

Will helping unions help Stockton's poor?

recordnet.com — Stockton went bankrupt, in part, because City Hall gave public unions special treatment. So it was unsettling Tuesday to see the City Council preparing to give preference to trade unions. The Council unanimously endorsed the concept of a "Project Labor Agreement," or PLA.

An American terrorized in Paris

recordnet.com — James Mayfield, who grew up in Stockton, was in Paris last week, dining at a bistro near the Louvre when the texts came in. "Hey, are you all right?" And, "There has been a shooting."The bistro was called Spring. Mayfield, 32, and his party of five were tasting small courses paired with wine.

Fitz's Stockton: A double dose of Tai chi

recordnet.com — Today: The Tai-chi twins.Gene and Loren Ma are 80-something year-old identical twins. Both are retired civil engineers. Both are soft-spoken and 5-foot-four. Both teach Tai chi and Qi gong to seniors."We are all elderly," Gene said of his class. "We emphasize balance.""Most people trip and fall because they lose their balance," said Loren.

Making downtown a time zone

recordnet.com — Spires salvaged from the Hunter Square fountain will be reborn as the shadow-casting part of a sundial in Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza, an urban revival group has announced.Whether that sundial tells accurate time is a whole 'nother story.

What are Met's intentions as new Delta dweller?

recordnet.com — The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is negotiating to buy four Delta islands. In the minds of locals, this is like the fox pricing the henhouse.The Met, as it is called, is the most powerful of all water interests perennially contriving to draw water from the ailing estuary.
More Articles →
Nov 27, 2015

RT @samdolnick: Last call for the NYT's new David Carr reporting slot -- applications due Dec 1. Apply this weekend! Details: nytimes.com/newsgraphics/2…

Nov 27, 2015

to whomever sent me George Packer's The Unwinding, thanks very much. #mysterygift

Nov 27, 2015

@Penenberg yeah, that's what Matt Taibi was saying in RS, in his We're too dumb for TV news.

Nov 27, 2015

Blame the media, & you can get away with anything. rol.st/1SkCWFQ via @rollingstone

Nov 25, 2015

Freelancer breaks Chicago shooting story, not 'established' reporters. poynter.org/news/mediawire…

Nov 23, 2015

RT @dangillmor: Phoenix-area folks: a talk tonite at @Cronkite_ASU on "Deep Search" by Google's Dan Russell. Prepare to be amazed. cronkite.asu.edu/must-see-monda…

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