Online, on air and on acres of print, I’ve done a lot. I’ve worked as a journalist covering topics as diverse as wars to bars. I prefer the latter. Some career highlights are below.

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I’ve picked up honors here and there for my 3+ decades of work. My favorite is the Peter Lisagor Award I received for my writing from the Chicago Headline Club, the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. “Local Pulitzer” is an accurate if immodest description. And why did I win? I wrote a feature story about a doctor who lived with a pig. A big pig. A big four-legged pig. The kind that define the meaning of the word pig. We went out for a meal of Chinese and the doc took leftovers home to the pig. Inside the white boxes was sweet & sour pork. And then the story got really weird.

Chicago This, Chicago That

During 14 years in Chicago I wrote for pretty much every publication with Chicago in the title. Among them:

  1. Chicago Sun-Times I told Chicago what to do on weekends and began my travel writing career detailing non-Disney ways to enjoy Orlando.

  2. Chicago Tribune A highlight was why seven out of eight American Nobel prize winners for writing were drunks and why their careers collapsed when they dried out.

  3. Chicago Lawyer A true muckraking monthly that investigated the false convictions of prisoners on death row.

Lonely Planet’s Online Tsunami Project

After the 2004 tsunami devastated vast swaths of Southeast Asia, Lonely Planet made an unprecedented commitment to cover this disaster. I ran the project which created an entire branch of lonelyplanet.com. It included:

  1. Downloadable updated chapters by authors on the ground in tsunami-effected areas in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand and the Maldives.

  2. Feature stories on how the disaster touched a world familiar to travelers.

  3. How to help the people in the region though donations and volunteering.

  4. Constantly updated online news and practical info for travelers.

Listen to my interview with Rick Steves about my coverage of Sri Lanka.

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© 2013 Ryan Ver Berkmoes