Freelance Writer, Journalist, Web Editor, Photographer: Jeff Chappell
I’m a Jeff of all trades. I’ve spent about two decades working as a journalist in various guises, fashioning a writing career in both online and print media that spans both daily and weekly newspapers to online, high-tech trade publications. Full-time, freelance, contract — even a stint in public relations and marketing.
Name a subject, I’ve probably written about it at one time or another. Local government? Endangered species? Invasive species? Modern midwifery? Sports? Theater reviews? Rural homelessness? World’s largest collection of four-leaf clovers? Fortune 500 companies? Ice breaking maneuvers with the Coast Guard on the Great Lakes? Wall Street? Semiconductors? The Black Panthers? GPS? I can say yes to all.
A Post-Modern Phoenix
Early in the course of this new century I’ve also been a casualty; a survivor of the violent crash at the intersection of print journalism and the Internet. But like a high-tech phoenix I rose from the ashes (because I like to eat), and made the transition from crotchety, old-school journalism to the Brave (and scary copyeditor-less) New World online.
Writer? Content provider? Depends on whom one asks.
E-mail newsletters, websites, HTML, PHP, corporate content management systems (CMS), Drupal, WordPress, blogging and search engine optimization (SEO) — I’ve had to learn them all, to one degree or another and often times on the fly. These days as a freelance writer and web editor I frequently find myself concerned with the finer points of WordPress and PHP as much as those of grammar and journalism.
But such is life in the Information Age. And to think I let my college adviser talk me out of minoring in computer science. That minor would have served me better these days, coupled with my journalism degree, than the English minor I pursued (although I loved my college English courses). Notably, Michael Bugeja, said collegiate adviser, wrote this book about technology.
A tad ironic, that. But then hindsight is indeed 20/20.
But What Can You Find Here?
First and foremost, many examples of my written work — news writing, editorial writing, blogging (with a bit of photography, too). I even occasionally blog here, as it pertains to my professional endeavors and related subjects that interest me, such as WordPress.
I’m a journalism nerd; it’s kinda my thing and has been for a long time. Except for when I left for six years to sling drinks and be a prototypical Generation X slacker. But that’s another story, as are my endeavors in teaching English as a second language.