VJ Epstein, journalism lifer  

...merging calling and career


Philosophers say the human brain craves intellectual stimulation above all else. The life of a journalism purist, spent producing the first rough draft of history, is one the best for those who believe them. 

I'm not the most famous scribe of my generation, ethnicity, gender or age. However, I am proud of my career and the principled manner in which it's been built. I've learned a tremendous amount by moving from one newsroom beat to another with the passage of time, instead of remaining in the same intellectual silo.

The accrued knowledge has reached a kind of critical mass in recent years, which allows me to explore stories that fall between beats and intersect them. Articles which might otherwise go unnoticed because they combine disparate beats like economics and politics, or business and the military.

This approach has yielded six national writing awards and five regional awards. My biggest scoop is the iconic story of the worst natural disaster in U.S. history. The mass drowning which claimed 35 lives at St. Rita's Nursing Home during Hurricane Katrina. 

I take pride in generating exclusive articles which would not be produced by my peers in my absence. Rather than simply networking my way into high profile assignments.

If you want to know something about me click on the "Lady in the Hall" link below. 

This short story about the mass drowning at St. Rita's Nursing Home during Hurricane Katrina won the national Mayborn Award for narrative journalism. It details the body count and illustrates how far I'm willing to go to execute my professional duties. 

My original scoops about the mass drowning were filed on the eighth day after Hurricane Katrina made landfall, at a time when more than 800 reporters were searching for new angles on a  news event many thought had run its course.