The Post



Tomorrow night I start my new job as a reporter for The New York Post.

My role will be as a “runner,” which is basically an on-call breaking news reporter.

It’s different from what I have been doing for the past year at The Brooklyn Paper. Instead of finding and writing two stories a day, most of my job will be to get quotes and details from the scenes of breaking news events.

Here are a few stories I worked on during my three-day tryout a few weeks ago:

It’s a pretty awesome gig, and I am really excited to get started.

I also will be working on my own stories for the paper, so if you have any tips, you can always reach me by email at dan [at]

Best cover letter ever

Hunter S. Thompsons 1958 cover letter for a newspaper job “As far as I’m concerned, it’s a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity. If this is what you’re trying to get The Sun away from, then I think I’d like to work for you.” (h/t Eryk Salvaggio)

Employed! At last!

After three months roaming the media wilderness, foraging for whatever scraps I could find and undergoing what can only be described as a harrowing, existential nightmare wherein I questioned my very will and ability to be a journalist, I’m proud to announce I am finally a gainfully employed New York City reporter.

Starting immediately, I take over my new beat as reporter of the Flatbush and Midwood neighborhoods of Brooklyn, NY for Courier-Life Publications and The Brooklyn Paper.

Courier-Life is a chain of free weekly papers in Brooklyn owned by Newscorp, Rupert Murdoch’s company. This means I’m now part of the same family as the New York Post and The Wall Street Journal — though I’m pretty far down the food chain. Brooklyn Paper was founded in 1978 and Uncle Rupert (I get to call him that now, right?) bought the chain in 2009. (Mainers: For comparison, Courier-Life is like The Forecaster, except there are way more editions.)

The papers I’ll be responsible for are The Midwood Courier and Flatbush Life. This is primarily a physical paper operation; right now, they publish online at, but soon all my stories will be available at

I’ll be responsible for writing one to two stories a day, plus photos, and doing a police blotter roundup.

The position is a great first gig. I’ve been saying since graduating college three months ago that I really need to hunker down for two years and churn out two stories a day. I need to work on my craft and learn to run a beat. Brooklyn Paper is the best place for me to do that.


What I should have said at the #ONANYC meetup: Hire Me

A moment of panic hit me at the end of the first meetup of the Online News Association’s New York City group. The presenter, Aleeda, was wrapping up the event. She asked if anyone was hiring. Cynthia from the New York Times stood up and announced they were hiring a social media marketing manager.

Then Aleeda asked if anyone was seeking a job.

“Now’s your chance to give your minute-long marketing speech,” she said.

I froze. This was my chance? I’d have to use my mouth words? My mind raced. I wasn’t really ready to pitch myself to a room full of media professionals. How was I supposed to sound simultaneously humble and overqualified — to strike that perfect note of talent and grace — without notecards? While I pondered this, my window to amaze closed.

Here’s what I should have said:

Hi, my name is Dan MacLeod. I’m a writer, editor, photographer and nascent Web developer whose main interest is business and economic reporting. I can shoot and edit video and photos, and I’ve used every form of social media I can find to engage readers and report stories. I have more ideas in an hour than I know what to do with. I’m fast, persistent and a slave to accuracy.

Before I moved to New York I was a student at the University of Southern Maine, where I ran the student paper. While editor, I reorganized the editorial, advertising, and distribution departments and moved the newsroom to a Web-first publishing model on a WordPress platform. I ran the business operations and put the paper on track to increase circulation 30 percent this year. I did this while editing and reporting for a daily in Portland, freelancing for the state’s biggest daily newspaper as their Portland stringer, and — oh yeah — taking classes. I’m also the proud co-founder of a failed news organization. I regularly update my blog here.

You should hire me because, in two years, I’ve had literally every job in journalism: I’ve sold ads, interned, managed a newsroom, edited copy, covered political campaigns, live-blogged debates, produced videos and broken major stories. I’ve designed websites, front pages and marketing campaigns. I’ve even delivered the paper.

But mostly, you should hire me because I understand journalism is a process, not a set of rules. I have a solid grasp of the fundamentals — but I possess something I think is more rare: a willingness to take risks and fall on my face.

Next @ONANYC meetup, I’ll take the biggest risk, for me, and make this pitch in person.

You can reach me at dan[at]dsmacleod[dot]com. Follow me @dsmacleod.