Archives for the month of: January, 2014
A very important milestone for ZachCCohen.com

A very important milestone for ZachCCohen.com

The website you’re reading right now has been a labor of love for about a year now. And yesterday, I passed a major milestone by publishing my 100th blog post.

I launched this website last May as a single home for all of my work online. It’s been a hugely valuable organizational tool for me when searching my archives for story research or job hunting.

But I wish this blog, as well as my Facebook and Twitter accounts, could be more of a conversation with you, my friends, family and strangers who read my articles.

I use the word “serve” purposefully when I describe what I do. I want to provide the news you need and want to hear. And I know you’re reading this blog (almost 3,000 views on this blog since I bought the domain just shy of a year ago).

So here’s my question to you: What do you want to see on this blog? On Twitter? On Facebook? What’s going to keep you engaged with what I do day-t0-day?

I want your honest opinion. I’m always looking to improve. 

Comment here, send me a tweet, or contact me privately. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

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My first Washington Post story leading the Obituaries front.

My first Washington Post story leading the Obituaries front.

Lee Reynolds, an actor who played the seafaring title role on “Cap’n Tugg,” a Washington-area children’s TV show in the 1950s and 1960s, and who later became an announcer, writer and director for the public broadcasting station WETA, died Jan. 27 at Capital Caring hospice in Arlington. He was 87.

The cause was lung cancer, said his wife, Christine Lewis Reynolds.

Read the rest of my obituary of children’s show actor Lee Reynolds and my first byline for The Washington Post.

(On an unrelated note, this is currently my 100th post for ZachCCohen.com!)

UPDATE Jan. 30, 9:43 a.m.

B5 with a skybox on B1: My first print byline for The Washington Post, and my first byline in the print edition of a national newspaper.


TV’s Cap’n Tugg was ‘The Man With a Million Voices’
BY ZACH C. COHEN
zach.cohen@washpost.com
The Washington Post
Jan 30 2014

Lee Reynolds, an actor who played the seafaring title role on “Cap’n Tugg,” a Washington area children’s TV show in the 1950s and 1960s, and who later became an announcer, writer and director for the public broadcasting station WETA, died Jan. 27 at…read more…

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If you read my piece for New Voices comparing my experience as a Jew in Costa Rica and Israel, you weren’t the only one.

A number of bloggers read it as well and were not impressed. Some of it reached near libel and/or anti-Semitism. Read the responses for yourself. 

The home page of New Voices featuring the my blog post.

The home page of New Voices featuring the my blog post.

Shortly after my blog post went live, the Costa Rica Star responded (I think?) and confirmed my critique of their earlier article about me (I think?).

Screenshot of my story on the New Voices home page

It was hard being Jewish. There were no Shabbat dinners or daily prayers in my life, so I felt Jewish a grand total of three times in Costa Rica. I had to seek out spiritual enlightenment, and that usually only happened within the walls of the synagogue.

That stood in stark contrast to Israel, where being Jewish was pervasive and, by extension, easy. Everything around our hotel on the Kinerret closed on Shabbat, forcing time for reflection and relaxation. Kosher food is bountiful. Hebrew is omnipresent.

But I felt just as Jewish at services at B’nei Israel as I did when I was surrounded by it in Israel. 10 hours in a shul in Latin America was as spiritually fulfilling as 10 days in the Holy Land.

Read the rest of my reflection on my travels at New Voices.

Today was my first day at The Washington Post. It wasn’t too eventful, to be honest (we only did basic training, such as accessing email, filing stories, posting to the website, etc.). I’ll have more thorough reflections later this week.

However, my tweet announcing my arrival…

 

…ended up on Buzzfeed. Life achievement unlocked. Thanks for the shout-out, Benny Johnson.

Screenshot of my tweet on Buzzfeed

In non-journalism news, I’m joining the cast of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” at American University this spring. I’ll be playing the triple role of Flavius/Trebonis/Messala.

As a part time student/journalist next semester, I had extra time to do a little theatre with my favorite playwright (I wrote a 30-page paper in high school analyzing the psychology of Shakespeare’s tragic protagonists).

This will also be a fascinating look at Shakespeare’s classic tragedy in a mostly gender-reversed cast. Instead of Roman politicians, Brutus, Cassius and Caesar are all high school girls. Picture “Julius Caesar” meets “Mean Girls.” Odd at first glance, but it makes a lot of sense the more you think about it. Kudos to director Megan Fraedrich for drawing that connection and allowing me to be a part of the process.

The group of students producing this show, the Rude Mechanicals, have been my friends since freshman year. It’s a privilege to finally share a stage with them.

The show goes up Feb. 27 to March 1.

The Eagle 1.13.14 McKinley Building opensStarting off the new year in journalism by creating a photo gallery for The Eagle on the opening of American University’s School of Communication’s new home in the McKinley Building. Though up and running, there are still plenty of areas under construction.

Zach Cohen at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, the holiest site in Judaism.

Me at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, the holiest site in Judaism.

I have no plans to leave the Jewish community. I believe in God, I believe in our collective responsibility to repair the world and my second trip to Israel last month solidified my complex love for the Holy Land.

But by alienating me and other patrilineal Jews, the Jewish community risks our departure from a community that is shrinking every day.

See the rest of my essay at InterfaithFamily.com, a blog dedicated to covering interfaith marriages and relationships.

UPDATE: March 7 at 1:07 a.m.

A recent discovery: The essay was also syndicated to The Jewish Journal in Massachusetts North Shore area. h/t to Judy Matfess, finance officer of The Jewish Journal and, coincidentally, my roommate’s mother.

Picked up a girlfriend in Chicago, and we still get along almost a year later.

Finished my tenure as editor-in-chief of The Eagle, one of the best weekly student newspapers in the country.

Interned for a phenomenal five months at PBS MediaShift.

Lived for four and a half months in Costa Rica, the most verdant country I have ever had the pleasure to call home.

Traveled in Israel, which I have always called home.

Secured my last internship of my academic career at The Washington Post, a newspaper I have revered since moving to DC three and a half years ago.

Through good times and bad, I could count on friends and family to be there for me.

I’ve made some enemies, I’ve made more friends.

I’ve had some sucesses, I’ve made more mistakes.

I cried, but I more often I laughed.

There have been good days and bad.

I don’t regret a second.

Come at me, 2014. I’m ready for you.