Posts filed under ‘Essays and criticism’

“Maybe We’ll Even Listen to the Music”

Jazz educator Dr. Billy Taylor died in January 2011 at age 89. In this musical essay from Maryland Morning, I reminisce about an encounter with Dr. Taylor that changed the way I listen to music. (more…)

November 8, 2011 at 12:32 pm 1 comment

The War You See, and the War You Don’t

News networks have always had to make compromises to get access to dangerous battle zones. Did they go too far in acquiescing to Israel’s and Hezbollah’s demands during their 2006 war? From CJR Daily.


November 8, 2011 at 11:00 am Leave a comment

A Search for Meaning in the Pacific Northwest

A review of Jon Raymond’s Livability at High Country News.

November 8, 2011 at 10:45 am Leave a comment

The Wire’s Lessons for Urban Journalism

The premiere of the fifth season of The Wire rekindled a vicious dispute between David Simon and his former editors at the Baltimore Sun. It has gotten personal, but can we learn anything about how we report on our cities from the substance beneath the bickering? Find out in “Secrets of the City,” the cover story from the January/February 2008 issue of Columbia Journalism Review.

November 7, 2011 at 11:25 pm Leave a comment

Buprenorphine: Harm Reduction or Scourge?

In 2007, the Baltimore Sun published a heavily reported exposé on abuse and street sales of buprenorphine, a drug that had been hailed as a breakthrough for treating opiate addiction. Here’s a critical look at the series from Columbia Journalism Review.

November 7, 2011 at 10:21 pm Leave a comment

Catch Him if You Can

A review of David Samuels’s The Runner, from High Country News.

November 7, 2011 at 1:18 am Leave a comment

Katrina Washout

Apart from this article in the Washington Times, Katrina recovery was mostly absent from coverage of the 2008 campaign trail. In this 2008 Columbia Journalism Review piece, reporters who have been covering the Gulf Coast tell us what questions they would like to ask the candidates.

November 7, 2011 at 1:16 am Leave a comment

Top Ten in Arts and Culture, 2005

Top Ten in Arts and Culture for 2005: From Baltimore’s PeekReview.

July 24, 2011 at 11:49 am Leave a comment

CD Reviews for Prefix Magazine

From 2003 to 2005, I wrote CD reviews for Brooklyn-based Prefix Magazine. Have a look.

July 24, 2011 at 11:42 am Leave a comment

- A much prettier website with my journalistic highlights is at
- Disappearing Ink released its first album, "There Is No Time and Nothing's Been," in December 2014. It's available on iTunes.
- After almost five years at WYPR, I'm back to freelancing. Editors can reach me at
- The Art of Social Critique: Painting Mirrors of Social Life includes my chapter "New Possibilities and Old Limitations of Political Art in The Wire."
- You can still buy my 2004 self-titled EP.