Articles

End of the Road for Jumbo’s, Miami Soul Food Joint That Battled Segregation
Jewish Daily Forward, Aug. 15, 2014
The line went out the door and around the building when Jumbo’s, an iconic soul food joint in Miami’s downtrodden Liberty City, closed in July. But many of the customers who came for a final taste of the James Beard Award-winning restaurant’s signature fried shrimp, fried conch, pigeon peas or collard greens had no idea they were celebrating the last day of an institution that shone like a beacon at a time before Miami was the Havana of the North, when it was still a bastion of Southern segregation.

Are Student Journalists Up to Code
Quill Magazine, March/April 2014
ECCLESIASTES put it this way: “There’s nothing new under the sun.” I recall the Old Testament curmudgeon every time I come across another pundit proclaiming how journalism schools must teach every student “data-based journalism,” how to wrangle “big data,” and how to create “data visualizations” and “code.” It’s not true.

When a House is Just a House, and Family Means Home
New York Times, April 15, 2013
The man who delivered the foreclosure papers was all business. He met my wife, Ruth, in the driveway as she was bringing the kids home and gave her the papers. She signed, sighed and told Jolie and Aleeza nothing’s the matter, let’s go inside. It’s not as if we were surprised.

A dad reveals: My life as a science fair project – An experiment measuring how cuts heal means someone has to get cut. A father rises to the occasion.
Miami Herald, June 16, 2012
I am a science fair project. Mind you, this was never my career goal. When I was a boy and someone asked me what I wanted to be, I’m pretty sure I never said: “A science fair project.” But a project I am, a volunteer subject for my children’s forays into the sciences, willing to give blood (literally), sweat and tears to help them learn and also to compete against other parents … I mean classmates.

Bringing diversity to the newsroom is not the same as bringing diversity to the coverage
Nieman Watchdog, August 2009
Full disclosure: I’m a middle-aged, middle class, white, Jewish guy who looks like a hippie and who grew up in monochromatic Pacific Palisades, Calif., still better than 90 percent white even today. And I’m writing about diversity. Not diversity in the newsroom, though. Let’s stipulate that newsrooms should resemble the communities they serve and that after at least three decades of effort, according to surveys by the American Society of Newspaper Editors, they don’t.
So, maybe it’s time to change the subject.

The Accidental Blogger
American Journalism Review, April/May 2005
Rony Abovitz didn’t intend to be a media star, a darling of the right, a villain to the left. He just wanted to take in one of the more interesting sessions at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, a panel called “Will Democracy Survive the Media?” But it sounded to Abovitz like CNN Chief News Executive Eason Jordan was making a disturbing allegation: that U.S. forces in Iraq had targeted and killed journalists. Abovitz’a post the Davos blog sparked a controversy that led to Jordan’s resignation and widespread speculation about what he meant.