Doug Brown – JOURNALIST
In July 2015, I left my job as a staff writer at Cleveland Scene magazine after two years to travel the country for several months while I’m still able to (here’s my lovely piece written by my friend/former colleague Sam Allard on that). On August 4, I headed west from my hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan, in my Chevy HHR and I’m still on the road exploring North America.
My basics: I have a B.A. in political science from Hiram College and a master’s degree in journalism (reporting/editing track, convergence media focus) from the Kent State School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Prior to Scene, I was a contributing writer for Deadspin.com, was an enterprise reporter for the Daily Kent Stater while in grad school, worked for a summer at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and was published in a number of other publications across the country.
I’m an old-school hard-nosed investigative reporter who loves getting public records many other reporters can’t/won’t (I know the law, and don’t accept illegal denials of records). I grew up on the internet and know how to take full advantage of it during every step of the reporting process, from story conception to story presentation. I believe in good information, good writing, and good presentation.
And now, I’m generally looking for my next full time gig. In the meantime, here are some stories I’d like to highlight:
- Comments: Scene’s most read feature story ever (300,000+ hits), connecting the dots about a date rape problem at a popular Ohio summer tourist spot. The central figure in the story, a bartender at a popular club/pool bar, was indicted for rape a month after this came out.
- Comments: written with colleague Sam Allard, this one was named second place for investigative reporting at the 2014 Association of Alternative Newsmedia awards. I wrote the sections on the woman’s death and the lackluster police investigation.
Cleveland Scene — “Degenerate, Inc.: The Paranoid and Obsessive Life of a Mid-Level Bookie”
- Comments: this is one of my favorite things I’ve written. It’s a profile of how a Cleveland-area bookie operation began and how it operates. It was featured on longform.org, linked all over the internet, and was shopped around to television studios to make a show out of it.
- Comments: a deep dive into the abrupt “resignation” of an extremely successful college running coach.
- Story discussed in Politico (“Old media vs. new media, sports edition“), The Atlantic Wire (“Get used to Deadspin scooping your old media idols“), Jim Romenesko (“Why newspaper sports journalists don’t like Deadspin“), Awful Announcing (“Deadspin vs The Toledo Blade – How new media is changing reporting“), among others.
- Comments: A star football player accused his new high profile coach of abuse during practice. I figured out what happened.
BLOG POSTS/OTHER REPORTING
Cleveland Scene – “Meet the Pro-Slavery Fairview Park Auxiliary Cop”
- Comments: I found insanely racist things a local police officer wrote online and confronted him about it (confirming it was him). Within an hour of its publication, he resigned/was forced out. The story was all over the local news and major websites afterwards.
- Comments: broke the story about the noteworthy Cleveland Browns quarterback’s involvement in a massive fight. It was all over the national media in hours.
- Connecting the dots between a big-time drug dealer and Cleveland police officers.
Deadspin – “How North Dakota Lost Its Mind Over A “Choke Job””
- A public-records story on a silly PR crisis involving the University of North Dakota athletic department.
My first meaningful reporting came when I was working as an enterprise reporter for the Daily Kent Stater while I was in graduate school at the Kent State School of Journalism and Mass Communication back in 2012. My three big stories from the Spring 2012 semester won a combined 14 awards from journalism organizations like the Society of Professional Journalists and the Associated Collegiate Press (each listed on my LinkedIn page). My reporting (particularly the records I was able to obtain) led to federal charges against a Ponzi schemer who donated $1 million to Kent State (and then withdrew it when I started asking questions). That was a few years ago, so I’m not going to focus too much on that now, but if you want to know more, just do the following Google searches to see relevant stories: “Doug Brown” and “Jason Cope” or “Doug Brown” and “Kent State”.