Archives for category: Uncategorized

March marks an official transition almost two years after joining National Journal. I’ll be taking over the governors beat full-time with a focus on their elections and the politics and policy updates of statehouses across the country.

Governors Meeting

AP Photo/Cliff Owen

I’ve reported on governors in the past, and just last weekend interviewed 16 governors while they were in Washington, including North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) and Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) (both pictured).


Deleware Gov. Jack Markell

Photo by Chet Susslin

2016 features 12 governors races, and 2017 will dominated by open races in my home state of New Jersey and my current home of Virginia. And 2018 is … the rest …


Reporting on state politics has always been a source of fascination for me, and I’m excited to shine a spotlight on leaders working at the state level far beyond the Beltway.

In the meantime, I’ll still be editing the morning elections newsletter Wake-Up Call!, and even producing National Journal’s TwentySixteen podcast. Onward to Election Day 2016!

It’s incredible to think that I started working at National Journal a year ago. It’s been a real treat to cover politics during the midterms and now the presidential cycle. (Apologies for not posting here more. I’m much more active on Twitter, and it’s been a little hectic…) I get the opportunity every day to work with some really talented and kind people, and I know I am extremely lucky to have a job I actually look forward to every morning. I couldn’t be more grateful.

If you need to catch up on what I’ve been writing about, visit my author page or find the “best of” list. And check out highlights from where my reporting has showed up elsewhere.

I spent Saturday manning the crime beat at The Washington Post.

Here’s what I covered:

“Police arrest Thaddeus Desean Bailey Saturday in fatal stabbing of Hyattsville man”

“Roads near collapsed building have reopened”

“Police seeking suspect in Ferndale Royal Farms convenience store shooting”

One of those stories ended up in Sunday’s print edition.

Man sought in shooting at store
— Zach C. Cohen
The Washington Post Sunday
May 4, 2014

Police are searching for the man they believe shot a 20-year-old man several times at a convenience store in Anne Arundel County, Md., early Saturday morning.

Authorities were called to the Royal Farms store in the 7200 block of Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard at 1:12 a.m. for a reported shooting. There they found a man with multiple gunshot wounds. Police said he had gotten into an altercation with a man, who then shot him before fleeing on foot from the store….read more…

My latest on the crime beat for The Washington Post.

Online: “Great Falls woman charged with hosting party where 15-year-old girl overdosed on alcohol”

While driving back from Quantico National Cemetery today (more on that later), I tuned into WAMU 88.5, the NPR affiliate in Washington. Kojo Nnamdi, one of my favorite radio hosts, was discussing one of my favorite things: Jewish food!

I called in and asked the panel about interfaith families juggling (and benefiting) both Easter and Passover.

(Coincidentally, it was my second time on NPR, the first one being this great interview with Paul Brown on the financial situation of campus newspapers.)

Costa Rican blogs still seem to be ruminating on my piece on being Jewish in Costa Rica. This one included some very nice compliments, so a hearty “gracias” and “toda raba” is in order to

I try not to ask much from you, but this is a time where I feel I must.

I got my start in journalism at The Eagle, American University’s student newspaper since 1925. I took every assignment I could get my hands on and eventually from there became a Student Government beat reporter. They liked me enough to give me a section editing position and finally editor-in-chief. The Eagle taught me everything I needed to know in order to be a journalist in Washington, D.C.

Journalism can be a force for good at American University, and The Eagle has worked to that promise. In my four years there, the journalists at The Eagle have uncovered: the history of WWI-era chemical munitions buried in the grounds of AU’s land, the then-unannounced-but-already-decided smoking and tobacco ban, an investigation of fraternity hazing, lobbying efforts by the university on Capitol Hill, how local laws affect students, lawsuits and so, so much more.

At the same time, the staff dutifully dropped papers and homework to cover breaking news, which has included everything from gunmen to rallies. The Eagle has been on the forefront of sports and A&E coverage on campus and gives young journalists the opportunity to cover the events in Washington alongside professional journalists.

It has won more awards from the Society of Professional Journalists than I can remember, and Eagle staffers every year win scholarships through outside journalism organizations. They serve in internships at national and local news organizations and graduate to become major newsmakers and storytellers. Alumni of The Eagle currently work at The Washington Post, USA Today,  NBC, Turner, the White House and more.

The Eagle has tirelessly worked for the American University community. Now it needs your help.

The Eagle’s financial stability, like that of countless other newspapers across the country, is in question. Declining advertising revenue forced The Eagle to lose its weekly print edition last year. The staff has adopted a digital-first approach and is making money with a redesigned website in cooperation with the Student Media Board. The burdens this placed on the staff should have been greater and was only lessened by their untiring dedication to journalism on campus and the generous support of alumni.

But there’s work to be done. To ensure The Eagle has the funds every year to innovate and provide the journalism AU needs, and the training its staff needs to compete in the global workforce, it needs more than just advertising revenue and allocations from AU.

Enter The Eagle Innovation Fund. If we raise $10,000 by April 25, the university will set up a permanent endowment, the interest from which will fund The Eagle in the years to come, allowing its journalists to focus on the business of journalism rather than on the business of making money. 

If you care about journalism on campus and across the country, here is one place where your donation, as big or as small as it needs to be, will make a difference. Help The Eagle do what it has proven it can do: Shine a light on AU and train journalists to report on the world. 

If you’ve ever read, commented on or shared a story from The Eagle…or picked up print edition…

If you know somebody who works in journalism and know how hard they work…

If you know somebody who lost their job in journalism despite all the work they did..

If you’ve ever covered breaking news…

If you’ve ever spent a night on deadline…

You know what it takes to make journalism happen. Help us continue to do it. Donate today.

A very important milestone for

A very important milestone for

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.


In honor of Thanksgiving, here’s a funny story about my family that involves a lot of flames.

If you like the story, do me a solid and vote. If I win, I get to take my girlfriend, Rachel Karas, to a two-night stay in Gettysburg.

(Full disclosure: Rachel is the education reporter for the Frederick News-Post, who is running the contest.)


Photos of our class field trip to Sarchí, the biggest, but most beautiful, tourist trap I’ve ever seen.

This is reminding me more and more of 2003.