Featured journalist: Valerie Brown
The honor of Thursday's featured reporter goes to a freelancer: Valerie Brown, an independent journalist in Oregon. Brown covers science, environment, environmental health, climate, microbes, biogeochemistry, and, well, pretty much anything (including a sub-specialty in the history of popular music)!
A winner of the 2009 Society of Environmental Journalists Award, Brown got her start in journalism publishing her first article for Eugene Weekly about wetland mitigation in Eugene's industrial district. Her path to journalism was an unconventional one: "I was a musician, college dropout. During last year of belated bachelor's study, won 3 writing prizes; decided universe was nudging me," she writes. Since that nudge, she's accumulated an impressive body of work: "Bacteria 'R' Us," "Environment Becomes Heredity," "Hanford Nuclear Waste Cleanup Plant May Be Too Dangerous," and "Music on the Cusp" are just a few of the stories that she's been most proud to write.
If you're a journalist, you'll find even more good reading material in Brown's Muck Rack portfolio here (and if you're a PR professional looking to pitch her, do so after 9 a.m. PST!). As for what it means to be a journalist, Brown responds that it's about "[f]inding ways to explain to citizens things they need to know. And illegal aliens. In fact, everybody." Well said.