While doing an interview recently for an article I'd submit to a neighboring city's Patch, I was snidely belittled by the interviewee. "So you're part of the whole happy journalism movement, eh? Sort of like, 'look how great our community is' type stories?"
I was taken aback by this slightly. After choosing my words carefully, I mentioned to said person that I am currently writing columns for St. Louis Park Patch that started with the idea of digging deep into the city and finding those interesting people and places that might otherwise not be getting the recognition they deserve. Call it happy, call it lighthearted, but don't forget to mention how pleasant it is to visit a website that does not give you an unsettling feeling when skimming the headlines. Ultimately, I think that is what Patch has going for it. You'll find some local breaking news (editor Mike Rose is tirelessly on top of this), neighborhood politics, previews for exciting and occasionally not-so-exciting upcoming events, and yes, some "happy journalism."
While this is quite the digression from the handful of previous "Local Places, Local Faces" columns you've read, there is a method behind this scatterbrained madness.
Similar to last January, when I left for a six week trip to South Korea, leaving behind a weekly arts preview, I am once again heading back to Korea for a month. However, this time I could not be more excited to get back to my new(ish) column in June to find more enticing St. Louis Park places. Mike Rose and I have exchanged ideas for the column back and forth via email and random run-ins at . He'll mention a few people or organizations he'd be interested in reading about while I bounce a few ideas off of him, too.
Long story short, I am very eager to learn more about the unique places and faces that St. Louis Park has to offer. The blew me away. is a local gem that already had me thirstily going back for more. We've just scratched the surface. So come June, let's get to know St. Louis Park a little better. We can turn the "happy community journalism" label into "journalism showing how excited we are about the faces and places in our community."
I encourage anyone to email me personally, recommending a business, institution, person, group, organization ... what have you. I'm all ears.
Until next time, 나중에 봬요!