Archive for Spartanburg Herald-Journal

Rice Bowls and some good news from the earthquake in Haiti

Posted in Family, Journalism, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2010 by macmystery

Rice Bowls, the Spartanburg, S.C.-based world hunger ministry for which my wife Brooke works, supports an orphanage in Haiti.

In a bit of good news out of a country where the news only figures to get worse in the coming days, the 11 children Rice Bowls feeds are all alive and safe. (Read Thursday’s Herald-Journal story) Thank you God.

A group from the Pennsylvania church which runs the orphanage has traveled to Haiti with supplies with an MSNBC news crew in tow to chronicle their efforts. Here’s the initial story, when the safety of the children was still in question, and Thursday’s story telling of the group’s arrival in Hispaniola.

Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, had enough problems before this earthquake. More than 80 percent of the country lives in poverty and less than half have access to clean water. And that’s when things are going well.

My thoughts and prayers go out, not only to the Haitian victims of this earthquake, to those who have made their way to Haiti to help, those who are on the way, those who are giving to the relief efforts … but also to those who didn’t need an earthquake to try and make a difference in Haiti.

My wife, of whom I’m very proud, works for an organization that was already trying to make a better life for a handful of children in Haiti, among other places in the world. As a result of this catastrophe, their job has gotten a lot tougher. And a lot more important.

For those who want to help the orphans at the Rescue Children orphanage or help facilitate repairs to their home, donations can be made at

For those who want to give to other relief efforts, once again, here’s a list of organizations already working in the country.

Again, for those interesting in helping immediately, simply text “HAITI” to “90999” and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill.

And then comes the bad news

Posted in Journalism with tags , , , on January 13, 2010 by macmystery

It figures that I post something positive about journalism and it comes back to bite.

The Columbia State newspaper, owned by McClatchy, announced they were cutting 12 newsroom jobs on Monday. Among the layoffs was a sports reporter who worked with me here at the Spartanburg Herald-Journal … someone I consider a friend, though not a close one.

My friend is very good at his job. And he has a wife and children to take care of. And you might think the first statement would ensure the second one is a mere formality.

But in this business that’s not so. My thoughts and prayers are with him.

A little good news, journalistically speaking

Posted in Internet, Journalism with tags , , , , , on January 7, 2010 by macmystery

When I started this blog in the summer of 2008 when I was at the Maynard Summer Editing Program at the University of Nevada in Reno, Nev., the general idea was that I would write about being a father and being a journalist.

Obviously, you can look down my list of posts and know I haven’t stuck to the format.

Writing about the kids is one thing, but when it comes to journalism, there hasn’t been a lot of good news to write about.

But in the past two-and-a-half months or so, there have been two nuggets of pretty good news — one for the paper as a whole and one for the sports section.

At the end of October, the now-defunct Editor & Publisher reported (Read our story here) that the Herald-Journal’s combined print and online circulation had grown 10.9 percent in the previous year. That percentage represented the fourth biggest growth nationally, behind only Luzerne County Newspapers in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., (14.6 percent), The (Greensburg, Pa.) Tribune-Review (13.6) and the Tampa (Fla.) Tribune (11.4).

Then, just before Christmas, the Associated Press Sports Editors named a Top 10 sports Web site (Read here) for newspapers with fewer than 1 million unique visitors.

Of course, neither of these guarantees that my job won’t go away next week, next month or next year. But a little good news is better than none.