JACK LORD COOKSEY

Welcome to My Portfolio

 

MY CONTENT, SHORT TO LONG

A Select Sampling of My Writing

I have worked in print and digital journalism for 25 years. I have written about everything from drive-through psychics and county-fair pig races to city politics, industry news and in-depth health-care narratives. I relish the chance to dive into new topics and meet people of every kind — I embrace the opportunity to carry these stories forward to an audience. Most of this work is drawn from my years at Richmond Magazine, where I served, with progressive responsibility, as managing editor, executive editor and editor-in-chief. Much of my job at the magazine required me to generate ideas and follow them through to the final proof.

FEATURE: THE LONG GAME

August 2019

In the summer of 2019, I spent several weeks with the Richmond Kickers pro soccer club as the team entered its updated iteration — new ownership, a new coach, new roster and a thorough business overhaul.

FEATURE PROFILE: JAMES LANE

October 2018

I spent a day-plus with the 25th state superintendent of public instruction, the person who oversees Virginia's K-12 schools. He was a truly engaging man to follow.


Update: This story won first place in Public Affairs Writing and a Best in Show from the Virginia Press Association in April 2019.

FEATURE: GROCERY WARS

October 2008

In the months before the home-grown food retailer Ukrop's handed over its storied family business to a huge global grocery company, I offered this in-depth exploration of the market and cultural forces that ultimately led to its eclipse as the market leader, and then the company's sale.

THE RAINMAKER OF FAIRFAX: GERALD GORDON

October 2018

As Amazon narrowed down its possible locations for a new East Coast headquarters, Gerald Gordon was largely the person responsible for Northern Virginia's ascendency as one of the top prospects.

THE BIG HEART AND SOUL OF A SMALL CITY: FREDERICKSBURG

April 2017

This story serves as my love letter to a Virginia town that holds a lot of magic and spirit. Here is a look at its struggle to keep the ingredients that make it special as it undergoes a boom.

RUNNING AND ROLLING

March 2014

A general-purpose magazine writer compiles copious digests in the name of service-journalism. This is one example of countless briefs packages I've done over the years.

Q&A: FRANKIE ANDREU

December 2013

At Richmond Magazine, I managed content from concept to the layout plan. This was the back-page Q&A I had with one of Lance Armstrong's ex-teammates. The intro is mine, as are the questions.

TRAVEL FEATURE: MOUNTAIN LAKE LODGE

April 2014

My time on a magazine staff introduced me to every manner of reporting, including this piece about my visit to Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke, Virginia.

EXPLODED CAPTION: NASCAR PREVIEW

March 2014

The RichMag book opener was a feature photo with a long caption, called Focus. It was my job to plan these with the art director and, usually, to write the copy with the image, as I did here. It was always a lot of work for a short amount of copy, yet the focus was to open the book with something timely and relevant.

NEWS SHORT: URBAN YOUTH PROGRAM

January 2014

The boundary between editor and writer is blurry, especially at a publication with a limited staff. News items like this usually required much effort to fill only one-half to two-thirds of a page.

 

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