Dick Hudson, a lasting influence

April 9, 2014 by Brad McElhinny

Longtime readers of the Charleston Daily Mail may remember Dick Hudson, whose career in the sports department spanned from 1935 to 1970.

Dick Hudson

Dick Hudson

Our current sports editor, Chuck McGill, wrote about Hudson just last summer. The elder sports editor was turning 100 years old and gave Chuck a great, vivid interview. As Chuck pointed out, Dick Hudson’s bylines appeared in the Daily Mail during five different decades.

We’re sorry to report that Hudson died last week, the same day the Charleston Daily Mail put out an edition celebrating 100 years of publication.

“Dick represented the best of what was right about sports,” said one of my own old bosses, Sam Hindman, a former publisher, executive editor and city editor at the Daily Mail.

Here’s Dick Hudson in his own words, excerpted from “Daily Mail Memories” from 1998:

I was a “student” at West Virginia Wesleyan College when Phil Conley, publisher of the West Virginia Review magazine, took me to the Daily Mail for an introduction to Samuel Grady Damron, managing editor. Mr. Conley and my dad, Joe Hudson, were friends.

From that interview I was hired in the summer of 1934 to help during vacations at $7.50 a week. Ted Ramsay was sports editor and Con Hardman his assistant. I covered the Charleston Senators baseball team of the Middle Atlantic League that summer and helped Hardman otherwise.

Ramsay retired to enter the publicity business in Miami Beach and I was offered the assistant sports editor’s job after the first semester of my junior year at Wesleyan. I accepted because I was out of money and sociology courses anyhow. And who could resist a full-time job at $15 a week and be allowed to spend about 60 hours a week on the job?

We had the Saturday and Sunday editions to work on every Saturday which meant a work day from 7 a. m. until about 1 a.m.  Overtime? What’s that? There were two of us in the department with about 18 columns of space daily and about 45 on Sundays. If one member was sick or on vacation, the other was left to handle all of it.

I became sports editor in December of 1939 and George Holbrook was moved from the reporters’ side of the room to sports, where we had a great relationship for many years.

I worked under three managing editors — Mr. Damron, Vint Jennings and Charlie Connor — before resigning in 1970 to work at the Jacksonville, Fla., Journal on the news desk.

Many came and went as aides in the Daily Mail sports department, like Kent Hall (yep, the ex-mayor), Bert Wolfe (auto magnate), Ben Brown, who became an official in New York with the Associated Press after several executive spots in Minneapolis, St. Louis, etc.; John Olesky, who has worked in Dayton and Akron, etc., since his Daily Mail days. Don McClure, who worked in Akron and San Francisco and with the Peace Corps.; Keith Walters, executive on several papers since leaving; Harmon Marks; Bill Jacobs, an influential attorney in Parkersburg; Jack Lewin, who became an executive of some sort with the tobacco industry in Kentucky … and others.

We had later deadlines and none of the modern computers, etc. (thank God) you have today. It was paste, scissors and heavy pencils. We scratched errors (most of them), cut and pasted and were aided considerably by the linotype operators and proof readers.

We didn’t have the personnel to travel very much thus less personal interviews, etc. That’s the big change for the better.

As for writing, Mr. Damron was of the “old school,” as they say, reading almost every proof before the deadlines. He wouldn’t tolerate such phrases as “a number of days” or “he was sick for some time.” He would ask “Just what NUMBER” or “How many days,” etc. Poor spelling drove him wild.

He was a little man, no nonsense, but could be fiery. A local attorney known as “Hogeye” Gordon came in the office raising the devil about some story. An argument resulted and Mr. Damron pushed him down the steps. That night someone threw a rock through the front door. Can you imagine the lawsuits if you’d push a lawyer down the steps today?

My first real interview after joining the paper in 1935 was with a lion tamer. His name was Schneider with one of the big traveling circuses. The reporters were at the dog wagon across the street, or working, and the city editor, Marlin Lundry, told me to interview the lion tamer. He was a nice guy who didn’t think much of Clyde Beatty, the flamboyant and better-known circus lion tamer. Schneider pooh-poohed the danger of the job, unlike Beatty.

Lundry said it was a good interview EXCEPT that my last paragraph should have been the lead. Oh, what the hell!

There were so many “characters” coming and going in those 35 years — with the war, etc. etc. — that they blend into a hazy memory. One eager young guy did a great job and wrote a column, but had trouble spelling, especially when he asked, “How do you spell Jesus … with a J or a G?” He finally found some staffer who knew.

I know you don’t want all this stuff, but here it is.

Another thought:

When I left here in the summer of 1970, Sam Hindman was hired for the sports department. I wonder what Sam’s future would have been had I remained. Who knows?


A Top 10 front page focusing on tablets in the classroom

April 7, 2014 by Brad McElhinny

Congratulations to Charleston Daily Mail designers who came up with this Newseum Top 10 front page.

The Newseum often uses themes to determine its Top 10, and today’s had to do with wordplay:

The headlines in today’s Top Ten are more than a nice play on words. They made our list because they summed up the featured story in a few effective words; were clever without being too cute; and were simple without being overly simplistic.

The Daily Mail’s centerpiece focused on changing technology in classrooms. The design started with a concept by writer Samuel Speciale, who is a typography enthusiast. Graphics artist Kevin Cade got the image of the tablet ready to go. Managing editor Philip Maramba brought the centerpiece and headline together. And copy editor Samantha Ricketts brought it all home.



Daily Mail memories

April 4, 2014 by Brad McElhinny

I took over as editor from here from Nanya Friend, and, believe me, that’s big shoes to fill. Nanya is smart and organized and well-respected and beloved.

Luckily for me, she is also supportive.

Nanya Friend

Nanya Friend

All that to say, my tenure also has coincided with the 100th anniversary of the Daily Mail. Already big shoes and now a big milestone. The current staff and I did not want to let down those who got us here. For our coverage, we relied on the great personal and professional stories of those who put out the paper day after day for 100 years. Wonderful material produces wonderful stories.

One resource that I found handy was an unlikely one — a booklet from a 1998 retiree picnic where current staff and retirees shared stories about their time at the paper. It’s a treasure trove with tales from people like photo legends Chet Hawes and Earl Benton, sports scribes like Don Hager and Dick Hudson and great editors like Charlie Connor. (I was lucky enough to have attended the picnic.)

My predecessor, Nanya, also has some great tales in the booklet. And mostly they’re not tales of the news, which we all love chasing, but instead they’re tales of the other thing we love — the people we work with. (And here’s another takeaway point: Treasure the time you spend with those you enjoy working alongside, even in times of stress. Earl Benton and Robin Toner, both mentioned below, have passed away. Others have moved on with their lives and careers.)

Here’s what Nanya wrote:

The thing I have loved most about my years at the Daily Mail has been the great privilege of working with smart, funny people. I could tell stories about all of them but here are some of my favorites:

Earl Benton — by far the biggest hustler I ever met. He was beating the Gazette on stories when I was cutting teeth. I suspect he still sleeps with a live scanner beside his bed and a full tank of gas in his car. Many of us have Earl Benton stories, but I take special pride in this one:

One the night of the general election in 1980, Earl and I were sent to Moundsville to spend the evening at Arch Moore’s headquarters. Despite the pack of reporters around us, Earl got us into Moore’s private office for an interview and picture after Moore conceded to Jay Rockefeller. All in a day’s work for Benton. But what did I achieve that night?

Earl let me, a female reporter in her 20s, drive to and from Moundsville. We even took my car and he actually fell asleep for a short while on the way home. I was walking on air because world-class photojournalist Earl Benton trusted me enough to get there and back on a big story.

Robin Toner — one of the most aggressive and intelligent reporters I ever worked with. She now works for the New York Times. When she came to the Daily Mail, she was a passionate liberal and had to learn not to let it show in her copy. When Earl and I returned from Moundsville that same election night in 1980, I trudged wearily into the newsroom. It was 2 or 3 a.m., and the newsroom was full of sleepy reporters trying to muster enough energy to pound out their election stories. It had been clear for several hours that Jimmy Carter had lost his bid for re-election.

As I walked by Robin’s desk, she looked up at me, her eyes blazing with fury and spit out a question that was more of an accusation:

“Did YOU vote for Reagan?”

Now that Robin is the mother of twins, I’m sure she’s the picture of neatness. When she was at the Daily Mail, her basement apartment on Charleston’s West Side was a place you entered if you’d had all your shots. One day as we sat in her living area, I glanced across the room and asked her about the small dark lump on the floor. She walked over, looked down and laughed. A mouse had expired, apparently of old age, in the middle of the room.

David Greenfield and Jim Smith — two great guys who have gone on to great things since their Daily Mail days. Dave is publisher of the Canton Repository in Ohio, and Jim is senior vice president of Thomson Newspapers. This incident will let you know how these two operate in a crisis.

I was sitting at a computer right outside Dave’s office, working on a story. I leaned back, hands behind my head, and gazed upward to think. To my horror, I saw a bat hanging from the ceiling tile. I can’t remember how I got all the way across the newsroom, but I know I got there quickly. Dave and Jim frantically screamed instructions as other writers and editors cleared the area.

Finally Dave jumped on a chair, Jim handed him a trashcan and — fwop — the bat was trapped. It hadn’t moved, mind you. It was right there on the ceiling tile, but Dave had it imprisoned. He looked down at us with a goofy expression.

It took several more minutes for someone to figure out how to slide something flat between the ceiling and the trashcan, knock the bat in the can and pitch it out the window.

I’m glad no bats have shown up since Dave and Jim left.

Carolyn Karr Charnock — now the director of Metro Communications but a former Daily Mail reporter. We knew when we hired Carolyn that she had dabbled in stand-up comedy in college, and I distinctly remember warning her about the improper use of humor in a serious news story. Little did I realize how wacky she really was.

One day when I was working part-time, I got a call from Greenfield. He was organizing a retreat for all the editors, and he wanted me to sit on the city desk one Friday and run the show. Everything would be planned in advance so getting the paper out would be no sweat.

And things did go very smoothly. The reporters were quite cooperative, glad to have the editors out of their hair for a day.

As the final edition deadline passed, I noticed Carolyn moving about the newsroom. She was taping things to the floor and setting up strange contraptions.

“What are you doing?” I asked. No answer. And she didn’t stop.

This went on for quite a while. Copy editor Andy Stout began to help her. I kept asking questions, but they weren’t talking. I began to get nervous. The natives were definitely restless, and I was responsible.

Eventually they seemed to be finished. That’s when everybody else got involved. Carolyn and Andy had set up a nine-hole miniature golf course throughout the newsroom. It became clear that the staff, while the bosses were enjoying golf and other amenities at Pipestem, was going to spend the afternoon playing putt-putt.

I gulped. I watched. I finally played. I must say, we had a great time.

Late that afternoon, as I headed for the MacFarland Street door on my way home, I encountered Greenfield and Publisher Terry Horne on their way in. Just back from Pipestem. The putt-putt course was still in place upstairs, and that’s where they were headed.

So what did I do? I heartily welcomed them back and walked back up the stairs with them. As we entered the newsroom, I said something like, “Look here, ha, ha, ha. Why don’t you try it out?”

I jammed golf clubs into their hands. They were too dumbfounded to do anything but play.


Happy 100th, Charleston Daily Mail

April 3, 2014 by Brad McElhinny

This week and off and on for the rest of the year, our newsroom will be celebrating 100 years of the Charleston Daily Mail.

One key aspect of the newspaper’s history, we discovered, was the many incarnations and sporadic production it experienced early on. The period agreed upon to mark the celebration was early April, 1914, when former Alaska Gov. Walter Eli Clark bought the newspaper out of auction and set it on course for 100 years of regular publication. Thank you, Governor Clark!

Clark was a unique and interesting figure — and a fitting one for early newspaper lore, as you might read in Zack Harold’s story about him. Other leaders at the Daily Mail — like publisher Lyell Clay, Pulitzer Prize winner Jack Maurice and still more like editor Charlie Connor and photographers Earl Benton and Chet Hawes and lifestyles editor Julianne Kemp – would have been an inspiration for anyone to work beside. Oh, wait! I did work with Julie for a few of her 50 years at the Daily Mail! That was, in fact, a treat.

Their influences surround us every day as we still put out a paper that we hope they’d enjoy reading.

This masthead -- filled with a who's who of Daily Mail leaders is on a framed newspaper behind my desk.

This masthead — filled with a who’s who of Daily Mail leaders is on a framed newspaper behind my desk.


This motto established by Governor Clark is still on a plaque on a pillar in the Daily Mail office

Jack Maurice's career and Pulitzer Prize are nicely framed. I couldn't angle the reflection of the overhead lights out of the picture, though.

Jack Maurice’s career and Pulitzer Prize are nicely framed. I couldn’t angle the reflection of the overhead lights out of the picture, though.

This is the Charleston Daily Mail building as it appeared many years ago. This corner of the building still looks very similar.

This is the Charleston Daily Mail building as it appeared many years ago. This corner of the building still looks very similar.


Here’s what the Charleston Daily Mail newsroom looked like in December. 1968, compared to today.


‘Hollow’ and Thunderdome

April 3, 2014 by Brad McElhinny

Yesterday really was an emotional rollercoaster at the Charleston Daily Mail as our staff reacted to the fates of friends.

We were thrilled to see our former colleague and continuing collaborator Elaine McMillion (now Sheldon) among the winners of the 73rd annual Peabody Awards for her production of ‘Hollow,’ which focuses on life in southern West Virginia.

Elaine McMillion

Elaine McMillion

As we have often said, because we like to claim her, Elaine was twice an intern at the Charleston Daily Mail. She continues to sometimes collaborate with our staff, as she did for coverage of the contamination of the Elk River and the Kanawha Valley’s water supply.

The Peabody is big-time.

As Elaine told the Daily Mail’s Zack Harold, she submitted “Hollow” to the Peabody Awards in January, “thinking my chances were pretty low because most of the people that win are with networks or affiliated with some corporation.

“I never thought we’d be in the same list as ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘House of Cards.’”

Congratulations Elaine!

Meanwhile, we were sorry to get news the same day that some of our friends from Digital First Media are losing their jobs.

Steve Buttry visits the Charleston Daily Mail for a seminar with newsroom staff

Steve Buttry visits the Charleston Daily Mail for a seminar with newsroom staff

DFM, which manages (but does not own), the Charleston Daily Mail, shut down its New York-based centralized newsgathering hub with the audacious name “Thunderdome.”

The move meant that some of our friends, including DFM’s editor-in-chief Jim Brady, Thunderdome managing editor Mandy Jenkins and digital transformation editor Steve Buttry — all recent visitors to the Daily Mail newsroom — will be looking for other jobs.

Their visits and their outlook have influenced much of what we do at the Daily Mail, including an emphasis on community involvement and a belief in serving web and mobile readers as well as traditional newspaper readers.

Digital First CEO John Paton wrote in his blog that the Thunderdome shutdown means a turnabout to focus on local. Although the Daily Mail is affiliated with Digital First Media, I wouldn’t expect big changes here. The company manages our newsroom but all other functions — like advertising and circulation — are self-contained within Charleston Newspapers. And our focus is local anyway. Always has been.

Nevertheless, we’ll miss our Thunderdome friends, who are always welcome to come visit us anyway. Good luck in the future, guys.



Political candidate interview season

April 2, 2014 by Brad McElhinny

This week we resume a tradition at the Charleston Daily Mail — candidate interviews.

Each election season, Daily Mail editors and reporters meet with candidates for contested statewide offices and for races in Kanawha and Putnam counties. (There are probably more races that are of interest to our readers, but there are only so many of us and only so much available time.)

There are two purposes:

  • To get a sense of the candidates and make endorsements.
  • And to inform the public about the candidates and their positions, whether the candidate winds up being endorsed or not.

voteEach day over a few weeks, editors and a reporter gather around a table with candidates from the various races. Usually we begin with a general introduction and move on to questions — some broad and some specific. This is not exactly like “Meet the Press.” Some of the answers perform loop-the-loops and some of the questions might not be fully on point. Sometimes the conversations wander around like a family dinner chat.

Traditionally, the reporter who covers the session cobbles portions of the candidates’ responses into a story for the newspaper. These are helpful to readers and voters but they can be challenging to write because there is no way to convey the full group conversation within the confines of a short newspaper story.

A couple of years ago, we started asking reporters to live blog the meetings on our website. This helped to provide a broader picture of the conversation and also swept away a little bit of the mystery of the meeting processes.

Then we got the notion to add livestreaming video to what we were doing. Now those most interested in the election could follow along live — or go back and watch later. Don’t be too impressed by the technology of this — we are not pro videographers. Our images are small, shaky and blurry. And sometimes it’s hard to hear. Still, it seems like a worthwhile effort to give citizens an insight into the candidates, the questions they’re asked and the responses they give.


Products of a good Putnam County education

March 30, 2014 by Brad McElhinny

Two of our newest copy editors are proud graduates of the Putnam County schools system.

One is a Winfield High graduate. The other is a Hurricane graduate.

Yet they’re close friends.

They’re also excellent new contributors to our newspaper.

Kelsey Thomas is a Scott Depot native, a Winfield High graduate and a Marshall University graduate.

Andrea Rectenwald is a longtime Hurricane resident, a Hurricane High  graduate and also a Marshall University graduate.

I want to tell you about them because they’ve got local roots and also because, as copy editors, they toil behind the scenes. You might not see their names or faces in the newspaper too often, even as they make us look good with their page designs, clever and accurate headlines and clutch catches of mistakes.

Me: Did you have early journalistic experiences?

Thomas: I did, I did. My mom always said I should be a journalist when I grew up, but I never believed her. When I applied for college, I was forced to choose a major. I scrolled to one of the first on the list… “advertising,” and thought, “That will do for now.” That’s what got me into the school of journalism. I switched over from there. My first news writing class gave me terrible anxiety, but when it was over, I (for some reason) went back for more as an editor. I also wrote for a small online magazine for a while in college. I got to interview a lot of interesting people — including my favorite author Augusten Burroughs and Clint Eastwood’s daughter! That’s when I really knew I was going to grow up to be a journalist.

Rectenwald: My first journalistic experience wasn’t until my sophomore year at Marshall University. Advertising is/was in the School of Journalism, so I took a few required classes including Graphics of Communication where I learned InDesign. After that class my professor recommended me for the Executive Editor position at The Parthenon for the Summer 2010 session. Since the staff was small that summer, I was able to be a reporter, photographer, editor and designer.

Me: You guys are buds from Marshall, right? Please explain that.

Thomas: Andrea and I have quite a complex relationship. We had classes together at Marshall and also worked at the same movie theater at some point, but I was afraid to talk to her because she was so cool. Thus, it wasn’t until we were randomly placed together as roommates at Snowshoe post-college that the budship began. The rest is history.

Rectenwald: Kelsey and I have crossed paths so many times over the past six years, but we didn’t become best buds until we lived and worked at Snowshoe together. We have a mutual love of napping and butterfly gummies. She’s the bee’s knees.

Me: If you are a Winfield General, what is your position on the Hurricane Redskins?

Thomas: Winfield’s clearly the better choice. After all, we are the “Town of Champions” — that sign was erected during my tenure as a General. (However, I am sure I didn’t contribute to that — though I did go to states for tennis my senior year. One of my first opponents hit the ball so hard I covered my face with the racquet instead of hitting back.)

Me: If you are a Hurricane Redskin, what is your position on the Winfield Generals?

Rectenwald: Hurricane is clearly the better choice – from academics to athletics. The rivalry is fun though and I enjoyed attending the Hurricane/Winfield football game every year. Go Redskins!!!





Congratulations to the Daily Mail’s annual DFMie finalists

March 27, 2014 by Brad McElhinny

Digital First Media announced the winners of its second annual DFMies (silly name, cool contest) and the Charleston Daily Mail’s entries were not among the top finishers. (We had a winner last year, Zack Harold.)

No shame in that. As the company itself says, Digital First Media‘s more than 800 multi-platform products reach 67 million Americans each month across 18 states. So it’s a pretty big company and there are a lot of good people doing terrific work. Any competition is bound to be stiff.

We’re proud to have two finalists who are big-time contributors to what we do.

Zack Harold

Zack Harold

One was Zack Harold, the Daily Mail’s life and community engagement editor. Say that job title with me three times fast.

Zack actually won the award for work he did when he was one of our Statehouse writers. He was a DFMie finalist in the “live coverage” category. (It took the entire staff of the New Haven Register to defeat him. Darn you, New Haven Register!)

I entered Zack for his coverage of an environmental protest at the West Virginia Capitol. Here is my entry, which included, by necessity, some weird third-person references to myself:

On Aug. 21, reporters heard over the scanner that an environmental protester had chained himself to a barrel of dirty water right in front of the West Virginia governor’s mansion.

We dispatched photographer Tom Hindman and statehouse reporter Zack Harold to the scene. Zack asked, “Do you want me to tweet about it?”

Editor Brad McElhinny said, fatefully, “Yeah, sure.”

Zack tweeted the blow-by-blow account and produced a Storify to post in his Capitol Notebook blog, plus a story for the next day’s newspaper.

But the extra twist of interest occurred when a journalistic debate broke out over Twitter.

McElhinny summarized the debate and posted it as a Storify in his editor’s blog.


Katy Brown

Another finalist for our paper is not actually a member of our staff. It’s Charleston resident Katy Brown, who was highly considered for the “community blogger” category. Here’s how the category was described: “Entry is not a staff member, but someone in your community who blogs for your website or blogs independently, linked to from your website and part of your Community Media Lab or other network. Entry should include no more than 100 words of explanation and no more than three links to works.”

(The winner of the category is a Golden State Warriors blogger from the San Francisco Bay area. Very different from The Mommyhood, I tell you.)

So the entry had to be pretty short, barely bigger than a tweet. I summed up Katy’s contributions this way and provided these links.

Katy Brown blogs like clockwork for the Daily Mail’s “Mommyhood” blog and has gained a community following for her posts that range from humorous to poignant. She enjoys participating in the comments section and chats with readers via Facebook and Twitter. She’s an asset to our site and is a destination read.
Fruitcakes and nutcases


Rules for an Unstructured Summer

In informing us that Katy was a finalist, Digital First’s Steve Buttry wrote this note to her:

You probably have never heard of a DFMie, but I want to let you know that Mommyhood was a finalist for one.
Digital First Media, the parent company of the Charleston Daily Mail, conducts an annual awards program to recognize editorial excellence by our newsroom staffs. Because we value our relationships with community bloggers, we include an award for the best community blog in our 70-plus daily newsrooms. Brad McElhinny nominated you for a 2014 DFMie and you were one of three finalists for the award. (Another blogger won the award, though.)
Thanks for your contributions to the Daily Mail and congratulations on this recognition!
Well done to Zack and to Katy. Keep up the good work, and we’ll get ‘em next year.
(And congratulations to the deserving recipients of this year’s DFMies.)


Welcome (almost) to our new website

March 20, 2014 by Brad McElhinny

Come Monday (unless there’s a delay), readers will see the Charleston Daily Mail on a redesigned website.

The changes will relate to functionality more than appearance, and that’s on purpose. We don’t aim to confuse you. Our aim is to serve you better.

First a word of caution, though. We’re still learning to use this site. And we’re still ironing out some kinks.

So, although it will be new, it might not look like an improvement at first. Please bear with us.

This is a developmental version of our new website. It's similar to what exists, but should be more functional.

This is a developmental version of our new website. It’s similar to what exists, but should be more functional.

The new website should get better in several ways:

– It’ll be a flexible design, meaning it adjusts to whatever kind of screen you’re on. Ever try to read a story on a smartphone that you have to pinch and squeeze and move around until you can read it? This aims to resolve that problem.

– As time goes by, suggestions for more stories to read should get smarter. The system is designed to relate related content. You follow me there? Similarly, we should have an easier time providing in-article links to related content.

– It’s going to make it easier for us to build photo galleries. People love to click click click the photos by our great photo staff.

– Behind the scenes, we’ll have an easier time determining what content is resonating with people and what is less so. We’ll have greater efficiency too. What we’re doing links directly links our print workflow to our digital workflow. (They were separate systems before.) This doesn’t affect you directly, but we’re pretty excited.

We’re moving from an airplane to a rocket ship. Please excuse us while we learn to use the controls.

Meanwhile, join us on our digital journalism adventure: www.charlestondailymail.com




He’s Mr. Multimedia

March 17, 2014 by Brad McElhinny

Marcus Constantino is a can-do kind of guy. You might see his work in the form of stories, photo or video. He received praise recently for his compilation of an interactive, multimedia timeline from the West Virginia water contamination.

Marcus is a December graduate of Marshall University and grew up in the Bluefield area. He was an intern here at the Daily Mail in 2012, when he showed similar ability to tell stories in a variety of ways. Keep looking for his name because you never know what kind of story it might show up on. Here’s a little bit more about him:

marcusName:  Marcus Constantino

Lives in: Belle, W.Va.

Hometown: Bramwell, W.Va.

Position at the Daily Mail:  Multimedia reporter

Graduated from: Marshall University

With a degree in: Online Journalism

Twitter handle: @amtino

1. What was your first job? Part-time radio station weekend guy. I mostly worked the soundboard during WVU games and NASCAR races, but nudged myself on air whenever I could.

2. What made you want to become a journalist? I designed a website for my high school newspaper (check it out – go Beavers! http://bhs.merc.k12.wv.us/beavervoice ) when I was in 10th grade. I was already interested in photography at the time, so the newspaper website gave me an outlet for my photos, motivation to get better at it, and naturally led me into storytelling through words, too.

3. What do you like most about your job? Traveling to different parts of my beautiful state and meeting interesting characters and hearing great stories.  The least? Breaking news that hits RIGHT when I’m about to get off of work.

4. What do you do in your spare time? Photography (especially sports), and occasional work on the radio.

5. What’s your favorite journalistic effort you’ve produced? An 18-minute video documentary on the international student experience at Marshall University. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3y8MD6_RLLU

biebs6. Name a personal item that is or will be on your desk: A talking Justin Bieber action figure, given to me by Brad McElhinny when I completed my summer 2012 internship at the Daily Mail (he’s been to the Great Wall of China! https://twitter.com/amtino/status/358218661028319232)

7. Your favorite blog you read or Twitter feed you follow: @Gizmodo

8. What’s your TV show? Book? Family Guy. The Rocket Boys.

9. What’s your favorite place in West Virginia? The New River Gorge Bridge.

10. What’s one newsroom quirk you were surprised about? The availability of large exercise balls as desk chairs.