Every week, I get about 400 words on the second page of the paper to say what I want.
Now, I love this job and the platform it provides me, but it’s often more difficult to find inspiration than my old post on page 16 when I could spout off on whatever was going on in the sports world.
It’s a strange mix between setting up the issues the paper is addressing that week and a personal statement about whatever’s on my mind.
I’ve had some good and bad morning. I’ve spent a lot of time staring at a blank screen waiting for something — maybe it’s divine inspiration, or for the time crunch to kick me in the rear.
But I definitely don’t want this week’s whole column to be me saying how hard it can be to write this column, that seems like a waste of time.
I guess this has been a roundabout way to introduce the future of this piece, showing our work.
It’s important for reporters to be as transparent as we expect our subjects to be. So each week, I’ll spend some time highlighting how one story was reported and written.
This week’s Closer Look section features a story about a Chicago artist whose project brought together residents of Rogers Park and Englewood.
Sometimes we have to dig deep for stories, but this one mostly just punched us in the face.
News Editor Mary Norkol and I attended a reporting conference in December that the featured artist, Tonika Johnson, spoke at.
The second she started talking, our finely-honed reporter ears perked up.
We approached her after the presentation and after a month and a half of interviews with Loyola students, the curator of the Loyola University Museum of Art, residents of both neighborhoods and the artist herself, we have a story approaching 1,600 words.
The story outlines how even on opposite sides of the third largest city in the country, we’re more alike than we are different.
Elsewhere in the paper, we have the story of triplets who are all students in Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine — oh, and their parents attended Stritch too.
The Editorial Board shares how it feels newly-inaugrated Governor J.B. Pritzker should focus his political capital.
Arts and Entertainment primes you for a packed year of movies and breaks down the 2019 Oscar nominations.
The Sports Section looks at the progress of the women’s basketball team’s rebuild and, as always, has the latest on the men’s basketball team.
Welcome to this week’s paper, enjoy.