My work history
Since 2012, I have been a full-time freelance writer. My exclusive focus since 2014, when I started a yearlong Soros Justice Media Fellowship, has been on criminal justice — specifically, victims of violent crime, violence prevention, policing, and punishment policies. On the Articles page you’ll find links to all of my work in recent years for publications including The Trace, Slate, The New York Times, Politico Magazine, Pacific Standard, TakePart, and many more. I am also a regular contributor to The Crime Report, published by the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Throughout my career, I have covered legal affairs from many angles: cops and courts, drugs and violent crime, commercial litigation, legal policy, politics, and a variety of business-and-law topics. After working as a beat reporter at daily newspapers in Warren, Ohio, and Houston, Texas, I joined American Lawyer Media to run its Dallas-based weekly trade newspaper Texas Lawyer for several years. Next I ran ALM’s digital division in New York City (which later evolved into Law.com) before switching back to hands-on journalism, as executive editor of the company’s flagship magazine, The American Lawyer. I left that job to teach magazine journalism at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, where during my eight years on the faculty I helped start the university’s Institute for the Study of the Judiciary, Politics, and the Media. I managed to make time to report and write some in-depth magazine features during my teaching years, but finding the time for months-long reporting projects was a struggle. So I left the Newhouse School in 2012 to return to the reporting and writing work that attracted me to journalism in the first place.
I have traveled throughout the U.S. to report on criminal justice stories. Home is New York’s Finger Lakes region, not far from where I was born and raised outside of Rochester, New York.
I earned my bachelor’s degree from St. John Fisher College in Rochester and master’s from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. I am a long-time member of Investigative Reporters and Editors.
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for posts on my work and on crime policy, victim issues, and notable criminal justice journalism.
All pages on this site © 2019, Mark Obbie, LLC