News Writing

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Below you will find samples of news articles I’ve written. There is nothing quite like the feeling of chasing down a lead on a story and bringing truth to light from the darkness. Whether that be chronicling a community’s fight against an unwanted corporate neighbor, or warning citizens about health risks from rabid raccoons. I’ve covered a variety of topics and sat through many government meetings to bring the facts to my readers.

-Ryan Anderson

(Pearland Journal August 16, 2000)

Crematorium Foes Speak up at Hearing

This was one of the first articles I wrote for the Pearland Journal. It became a topic that I covered extensively in the months that followed. The article led to me earning a First Place in News Writing in the 2001 Texas Press Association Better Newspaper Contest. As a result, it holds a special place in my heart.

(Pearland Journal March 6, 2001)

Lead-tainted Land Causes Concern, Lawsuit

Sometimes a story sticks with a journalist long after it is printed. Such is the case with this article I wrote about two families fighting an uphill battle to save their homes and property. It doesn’t take much for me to see the troubled looks on their faces. Standing under that single street light, they told me why they fought so hard for their corner of the American Dream, and what they feared would happen if they lost the fight.

(Pearland Journal September 19, 2000)

Chemcentral Seeks to Clear the Air Over Pearland Plant

One topic that I covered about as much as residents battling against pet crematoriums, was the David versus Goliath like battle between a small mostly residential community, and the chemical company that wanted to move in next door.

Over the course of about six months, chasing the story took me to three cities in three different counties and generated about 20 articles on the issue .As was the case with the stories about the Pet Crematorium, getting to cover the battle from start to finish was the stuff of journalistic dreams.

(Pearland Journal October 18, 2000)

Chemcentral Goes Before Council

This is another article related to the battle between the chemical company and the citizens who wanted it to stay out of their neighborhood. Part of what made the issue so fascinating to cover, was the fact that at the same time that the cities were dealing with one company’s desire to relocate to town, the state as a whole was tackling the larger issue of air pollution regulations. The efforts by the state to tackle pollution helped to drive some of the discussion down at the municipal level.

(The Sentinel, June 10, 2003

Fire Blackens Skies over Port

I call this my “only in Texas” article. While serving as an honorary judge at a rodeo cook-off, I saw smoke on the horizon. So, I did what any good reporter would do and followed a fire engine to the scene of the smoke. The smoke was coming from a fire at a chemical plant.

Instead of my editor rewarding my journalistic breaking news skills when I got back to the newsroom, he wanted to know who had won at the chicken cook-off. That was one of many red flags that told me I was working for the wrong newspaper.

Although my time at that paper was blissfully short, it did provide me with one of the few times that I got to speed along with a fire engine to the scene of a breaking news event. I will take breaking news over rubbery chicken any day.

(Pearland Journal October 24, 2000)

County Battles Severe Outbreak of Distemper

Proving timing is everything, this story about an outbreak of distemper fell into my lap when my coworker took an early lunch leaving me as the only reporter left in the newsroom when the tip came in.

This was another “animal related” story that led to a First Place in News Writing in the 2001 Texas Press Association Better Newspaper Contest. As a result, to this day I cannot look at a raccoon without wondering whether it is time to write a follow-up story about those cuddly trash pandas.

(Lake Houston Sun June 10, 2003)

Gov. Perry Touts Legislature’s Success During Stop at Tice Elementary

This story originated from the typical source material of “big-time politician chooses small town school for a photo op to tout their success.” My editor said they had other things to do that day and gave me the assignment. In hindsight, I think they gave me the story because they did not want to be crammed into an elementary school library two hours early for a 30-minute whistle stop.

(Lake Houston Sun May 14, 2003)

Democrats Walkout in Face of Congressional Redistricting

Although this article was written in 2003, it could just as easily have been written in 2020. It shows the extreme lengths some state lawmakers will go to defend a cause they feel is just.

On a personal note, this article was the first time I interviewed a member of the United States House of Representatives.

(Pearland Journal January 30, 2001)

Expert Gives Advice on Surviving Tragedy

There are some stories that I really wish I never had to write. This article on training students how to survive an on-campus attack is one of them.

School shootings were relatively rare when I wrote this article. In the years since, there have been countless school shootings and lives lost inside classrooms across the country. As a result, school shooting drills have transitioned from a novelty item to a part of daily life for school children of all ages..

(Texas City Sun June 18, 2004)

Police Pursue Murder Suspect in the Rain

This article is another example of what happens when all of the other news reporters go home for the day and a story breaks. The only difference being, that I was the Sports Editor at the time and not the person that usually covered breaking news most nights at this particular newspaper.

Still, news does not break on a specific time frame. So, when the story broke, I put my sports page layouts on hold and captured just the facts, as I had done so many times before.