Sometimes it's hard to believe, but I've been
working as a reporter and writer for more than 20 years.
My first journalistic venture worth mentioning
was The Free Agent, a monthly newspaper I helped to found in
the mid-80s. Our office was in the basement of a house in Southeast
Portland; our first light table was built out of an old door
I sawed in half. We won several awards but struggled to secure
ad revenue and folded in 1988.
After that I worked for a few years as a computer
programmer and technical writer. I went back to journalism in
1993, writing for Willamette Week.
In 1996, I moved to Singapore, where I worked
as a freelance foreign correspondent for several news outlets,
including The Sydney Morning Herald, the Times of London, The
Economist, Asiaweek, and UPI. During this time, I covered the
defamation trials of dissident lawyer JB Jeyaretnam, a remarkable
man who became the central figure in my first book, Lee’s
Law: How Singapore Crushes Dissent.
I returned to Portland in 1998 and resumed work
at Willamette Week, where I held a bewildering variety of titles,
including staff writer, reporter, assistant news editor, special
projects editor, and acting news editor.
In 2003, I was awarded a Knight-Wallace Journalism
Fellowship at the University of Michigan. I took advantage of
this opportunity to study the history of medicine, a longtime
area of interest.
After that, I worked for several years as a freelance
reporter, writing for the Economist, Inc., the Wall Street Journal,
Oregon Business, Portland Monthly, and many other publications.
In December 2007, I joined the Portland
Tribune as reporter and editor.
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