John Hendrickson is a Managing Editor
Shortly after graduating from Penn State last May, I was hired by The Denver Post as the Managing Editor of the paper's music site, Reverb.
What was once a sporadically updated blog soon transformed into a fully interactive website with its own domain and branding, www.heyreverb.com. More than a year of planning went into this new site, and, over a period of six months, I oversaw the implementation of a variety of new content angles. Reverb evolved from a place to read local concert reviews into a multimedia website with daily columns, feature stories, free mp3 downloads, music industry news, artist interviews, ticket giveaways and much more. I oversee more than 60 freelance writers and photographers that cover concerts, comedy, nightclubs and special events for the site 7 nights a week.
The hallmark of our new site has been the introduction of our Mile Marker audio series. Like Daytrotter, World Cafe and others, we invite national acts into our studio to record three-to-five songs that are later made available for free stream and download every Friday, along with a slideshow and video of each session. (Example session).
Day-to-day, I edit stories and photos from our staff, code these into HTML articles in our web-based publishing system, Wordpress, share our content across multiple social media platforms and conceptualize weekly features. Additionally, I edit a music page in the Thursday edition of the print paper and I write a weekly "Best Shows" column in the Friday Arts & Entertainment section. Several times a month, I am asked to write both music and non-music stories alike for the Sunday paper. These have ranged from essays on the role of Facebook in private life, to iconography and the Beatles, to the potential influence of pop culture on Jared Loughner's shooting spree in Arizona, to the highs and lows of hipster fashion.
Last December, I flew back East to profile a rising Denver band, Tennis, as they traveled from New York City to Washington, D.C., and wrote a long-form story on how a band "breaks" in an era with futile record sales. I followed the group for several days and took photographs to accompany my Sunday cover piece, which, at 100 inches (3,000+ words) was the longest, most ambitious piece of work I've ever done. This article was soon re-published in many places throughout the web and was referenced in the band's interview with NPR. http://www.denverpost.com/music/ci_16820152
Most recently, I've represented both The Denver Post and Reverb at the annual South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas and the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in southern California. Working closely with the paper's award-winning Pop Music Critic, I covered both festivals with daily reviews, photos and social media updates.
My English degree from Penn State has proved invaluable in the sheer volume of writing, editing, email correspondence and group leading that I do on a daily basis. Classes such as Paul Kellermann's English 215 and Toby Thompson's English 415 taught me what it takes to be a professional -- in every sense of the word. Additionally, the time I spent writing and editing at Alt. Magazine helped me land my initial internship at The Denver Post in the summer of 2009, which led to an eventual job offer in August of 2010.
- John Hendrickson, B.A. 2010