About Me

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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