Four Feature Stories


Occasionally, I take a breather from long investigations and crank out a feature story.

Here are a few of my favorites from the last few years.

1. Searching for a Face Like Michael Jackson

November 2010, GlobalPost

At the Michael Jackson Whitening house in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, men and women pay exorbitant fees to have their dark skin scrubbed, scraped and burned away with exotic chemicals.

The dream:  The promise of brightness, lightness and, eventually — if they continue the treatment for long enough — whiteness.

2. Well-heeled and Accused of Gang Crimes

November 2007, Voice of San Diego

When the “Shadow Crew,” a gang from Encinitas, CA., couldn’t find their murder targets, they went for sushi instead. A look at the phenomenon of middle-class gangs in Southern California.


3. This Volcano Brought to You by Philip Morris

November 2010, GlobalPost

The Sampoerna Rescue Camp, on the side of a spewing volcano, was one of the only places in Indonesia where nobody was allowed to smoke. The cluster of tents, offering emergency medical aid to volcano refugees, is one of several relief efforts run by large tobacco companies in this country of smokers.

4. Dinner Fit for a Prince

November 2010, Christian Science Monitor

Sometimes travel takes you inside a 300-year old home on an island off the Dalmatian Coast, where a gourmet feast brings out the creative juices.