Aaron Howard, journalist
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Aaron Howard has published hundreds of articles. If you are interested in using some of his work to include in your own publication, please contact Aaron Howard today.

Published Works of Aaron Howard
A Personal History

Aaron Howard the early years Journalism is about real live human beings. In fiction, characters must appear real. In journalism, they are.

“A world is waiting for those with the eyes to see it,” says journalist William (Bill) Ruehlmann. “The writer knows that the miraculous happens routinely, the extraordinary is commonplace.” Growing up in Manhattan, I never felt I had to improve on reality. The city was magic enough.

I was an omnivorous reader. This was a time before television. My brother and I had our own library cards. Every two weeks we walked from our apartment on 15th Street to the 23rd Street library to load up on books.

The newspapers came every day. The sewing machine operators and plastic jewelry makers who worked in the lofts above my parent’s restaurant would bring the Daily News and the Mirror with them in the mornings. The Puerto Ricans had tucked El Diario under their arms. The guys in the suits who worked in the Con Edison Building carried the Times or the Herald-Tribune.

People left our restaurant with their containers of coffee, corn muffins, fried eggs on Kaiser roll and Danish. The newspapers remained at the counter. I devoured them.

Like the clock at the top of the Con Ed building, the soda fountain in my parent’s restaurant and the soap box orators in Union Square Park, New York’s newspapers were part of the city’s texture.

On Mondays, we’d read a New York Times “Week in Review” supplement scaled down for grade school. I can’t recall anything else about elementary school. But I remember the pleasure of reading and discussing those news articles.

On Sundays, I took a pencil to write my own newspaper on an unlined 8 x 11 sheet of paper with masthead, headlines and three columns. The newspaper had a circulation of four--my family.

By high school, I had moved up to the position of editor of the school paper. Under my high school yearbook photo, my ambition was “to be editor of the New York Times”.

During the 1960s, I wrote for a number of what were then known as “underground newspapers”. Some of these alternative newspapers appeared weekly. Other papers appeared whenever we would sell enough street copies to pay the printer for another issue.

I managed to acquire a bachelor’s degree at the University of New Mexico studying journalism with James Crow and Tony Hillerman. After college, I drifted away from journalism.

In the movies, a character encounters an event that complicates his life in act one. He attempts to overcome the complication in act two. Gradually, the character changes and he figures out how to solve the complication. There’s a resolution in act three.
Life is messier. Resolutions often don’t happen. Or as Jon Franklin says, “Most people are confused, and they stay confused”.

Aaron at the University of New Mexico
Journalism pays poorly. Unless you’re an “A-list” writer, don’t count on making big bucks. Many journalists I know—especially the free lancers—left journalism to go into public relations, advertising, law or completely unrelated fields. I remember once interviewing a guy who had been a hell of a writer in his young days. Now he worked as a desk editor at the Chronicle. Only on occasion did he write about his great passion--birding. What happened, I asked him.

“I got married,” he said, “and before I knew it, I had three kids and a pile of bills. I needed a steady paycheck. So I took a job as an editor. They always need good editors.”

I went into healthcare. I went to school and became a respiratory therapist. I worked in hospitals for 15 years. I went back to school again and became a registered nurse. I’ve been actively nursing since 1994. May all those who care for the sick daily be blessed with courage and communal support.

During the 1980s, I worked in broadcast journalism including a stint at newsradio KTRH and as a voice for “Roadwatch America”, a syndicated overnight radio feature aimed at truckers.
Aaron Howard, the Journalist, husband and father of 2 girls I started freelancing again. In 1994, I became a contributing writer with the Jewish Herald-Voice in Houston; and then a staff writer in 1999.

I’ve won the Boris Smolar Award, American Jewish Press Association for "Excellence in Comprehensive Coverage or Investigative Reporting" in 2003, The Texas Press Association’s First Place Award for “News Writing” in 2004, and a Simon Rockower First Place award, American Jewish Press Association, for “Excellence in Arts and Criticism” in 2005.

Let me tell you about two mentors: Jon Franklin and Stephen Fried.

Franklin is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and author of “Writing For Story”. The traditional short story and non-fiction reporting are essentially the same form says Franklin. There’s a formula that governs this form. The formula is simple and elegant. Master the key implications of this formula and you’ll at minimum conquer story structure. From Franklin, I’ve learned the craft of writing.

Fried is an investigative reporter and the author of “The New Rabbi”. The book describes the private and public events that unfolded when a large influential Philadelphia Reform synagogue set out to hire a new spiritual leader. Fried covered the shul as closely as a journalist would cover the police or city hall beat. He brought the principles of American journalism to a subject rarely even covered in the Anglo-Jewish press. From Fried, I’ve learned to show the inherent human drama that’s waiting to be discovered in the lives of American Jews as Jews.
The extraordinary is commonplace.

I write for a relatively small circulation Jewish weekly. Like all journalists, I work against a deadline. As George Orwell said “What emerges from such an effort may be ugly, but it will be reliable.”

The ever patient and wise Marilyn Svoboda is my better half. We have two daughters, Gabrielle and Yardena.

From the Siddur, I’ve learned that the Lord cherishes our fragmented lives. Make our lives whole again through integrity

 

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