A death in East Alton

March 9, 2018

Baltic countries home to hundreds of museums

A semester ago, I was among graduate students from George Mason University serving as virtual interns for the Smithsonian Institution, cataloging cultural repositories on several Caribbean islands affected by recent hurricanes. On some of the islands, the number of museums and other sites was a mere handful, but finding information on even them at times proved challenging.

February 9, 2018

Concentration camp site in Latvia has long history of conflict

In a few days I am heading back to Latvia and this time my “to do” list will be enriched by a number of museums and other cultural sites I want to visit. The sites are ones I have been researching as part of a virtual internship with the Smithsonian Institution’s Cultural Rescue Initiative.

December 18, 2017

What to do when Google Maps only goes so far

The work that I and three other George Mason University students have been doing as virtual interns with the Smithsonian Institute this semester, at its heart, is a matter of pinning down the locations of cultural repositories in the Caribbean Sea.

November 10, 2017

Lesson learned: Research on the internet begins with access

Using the internet as a research venue offers a good opportunity to explore a topic that covers a wide geographic area such as the Caribbean Sea. However, as I’ve learned over the past couple of months as an intern with the Georeferenced Cultural Repository Inventory, in some cases the research may only be as thorough as access to the internet allows.

October 8, 2017

Internship with Smithsonian teaches need for human intelligence

Antigua & Barbuda is a small island nation in the Caribbean Sea. If folks in the United States have heard of it, it might be because of the recent ravages of Hurricane Irma. Barbuda, population about 1,600, was evacuated. After the storm, people who live there have little to go back to.


February 5, 2018

Guide to teaching journalism in college arrives just in time

Master Class

University graduate programs in journalism and mass communication should adopt a new tradition: Give a copy of Master Class to everyone along with their diploma. The textbook, a project of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s (AEJMC) Elected Standing Committee on Teaching, arrived in my mailbox just days before spring semester courses […]


January 7, 2018

Cycling novel gives insight into mind of athlete

The Rider

It’s been a very, very long time since I’ve read a book about sports, so Tim Krabbé’s The Rider got to break the spell. First published in 1978, the book is considered a classic in the bicycling world. An article in a recent issue of Bicycling magazine brought the book to my attention. I was […]


Just a list of books on my nightstand. #tsundoku

The Hanging

By Lotte and Søren Hammer, published 2014 by Bloomsbury Publishing.

The Hanging

Night Rounds

By Helene Tursten, published 2012 by Soho Press.

Night Rounds by Helene Tursten

Journalistic Authority: Legitimating News in the Digital Era

By Matt Carlson, published 2017 by Columbia University Press.

Journalistic Authority