Posts Tagged ‘Mike Kelly’

Dave Kotok

When I showed up for my job interview with the Omaha World-Herald nearly 20 years ago, Dave Kotok and Mike Kelly met me at the airport and took me to lunch before I would meet with their bosses.

Mike was (and is) a World-Herald columnist. Dave was the chief political reporter. They shot straight with me, telling me why they loved working at the World-Herald and how some days it drove them crazy. They shared with me their aspirations for making that mediocre newspaper a lot better.

Dave’s retiring this November (he couldn’t retire before an election) as the World-Herald’s managing editor. No one has done more to make that mediocre paper a lot better.

Dave and I are different in a lot of ways. He’s stayed at the World-Herald for 32 years after hitches at the Arkansas Democrat and Lincoln Journal Star. Since I started in Omaha following that job interview, I’ve changed jobs six times (one of them a return to the World-Herald). While I left various jobs because of new opportunities, new goals and dashed hopes, Dave persisted in improving the same newspaper. (more…)


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One of my former newspapers, the Omaha World-Herald, has posted one of my best stories online. I wrote a 1997 narrative of the rescue of 3-year-old twins Jennifer and Kourtney Woracek. The story from the World-Herald archives was republished Sunday as a related link to an update on the twins (now 17), written by World-Herald columnist Mike Kelly, a friend for 18 years.

I don’t know what was my best story ever, but this one was close, if not the best. This was a story about heroic police and medical workers saving 3-year-old girls (both doing well now, as Mike reports).

In the years since I wrote that story, I have used it on occasion as an example in teaching narrative journalism. So I’ll repeat here some of the lessons that I learned or practiced in this story: (more…)

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