Andy is a senior multi-platform storyteller, addicted to the wonky and whimsical, the sublime and the ridiculous, with experience reporting and producing on staff for CNN, PBS/KQED, and The Wall Street Journal. He was born in Japan, grew up in Stone Mountain, GA (which his family almost owned!), studied classics and ancient Greek, is obsessed with re-purposed wood, and content with a purpose. Ideas. People. If that sounds cool, read on (and you can skip around, he won’t be offended).
Andy Jordan is a Berkeley-based senior multi-platform marketer, journalist, producer, and storyteller. Most recently, he founded Needle Space Labs, LLC, a video agency building agency: helping thread the narrative needle for businesses in search of a narrative, and purpose-driven orgs in need of a vision. Needle Space Labs is dedicated to creating content that inspires action, and adheres to the ideas of urgent optimism and defiant joy. For a current resume, head here.
Prior to founding Needle Space Labs, Jordan led the Media Studio and video storytelling efforts for the enterprise software company, Splunk, elevating their narrative in machine data as a publicly-traded company. This website is essentially an archive of stories done for Wall Street Journal during his tenure there, but this bio contains information about other phases of Andy’s career. Here is a good collection of many of the videos Andy Jordan did at WSJ. He has been a staff Reporter and Multimedia Producer for The Wall Street Journal using the “one-man-band” reporting method of enterprising, producing, shooting, reporting, and editing his own video stories. He (ok me) hits the road owning the editorial, logistical, and production aspects of reporting videos and multimedia projects. What does that mean? Well, what was once 6 or 7 jobs when I worked at CNN back in the day, is now just one job, and I do it. God love (save?) journalism! I’m equal parts editorial and production, and have managed multimedia coverage for WSJ from large events such as CES, WEF/Davos, political conventions, and the Olympics. I can get into the story, and then immerse myself with the technology of how best to tell that story. (Pro Tools, Final Cut Pro, After Effects). I have equal experience, and am equally comfortable in front of and behind the camera. I have a strong track record of managing across platforms, in radio, TV, and online.
I am strongly motivated by the exploration and implementation of new storytelling methodologies, and content which focuses on the sublime and the ridiculous. I am drawn to the quirky, the disruptive, the wonky and the whimsical. I am part creative and part analytical. I believe the age of one to many is being replaced by several to many and (where it works) many to many: collective, collaborative media is here. My philosophy on success: Create great product, have smart marketing, and the audience and revenue will come. Content and purpose are sine qua non for successful product.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Brought on staff initially in 2007 to create quirky videos at the intersection of technology and culture, I have served a number of roles at WSJ. Most recently, I was the managing editor for the video brand of Wall Street Journal’s “a-hed” front-page, quirky feature story. I strategized, produced and edited the videos. I also wrote them. I have also been a staff member of WSJ’s in-depth documentary unit.
I have experimented with ways to engage in the social space. One of those experiments was a piece I did on the start up that measures social influence, Klout. I’m STILL getting re-tweets (people feel strongly).
I have reported from the 2012 political campaign trail in New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina and in Ohio. I also reported from much of the2008 U.S. campaign trail. I also managed WSJ’s multimedia efforts from the 2012 London Olympic games, as well as reported from the games, themselves, getting Michael Phelps to admit he pees in the pool, but also getting to do interesting stories from the fringe of the games.
While at the Journal, I also covered technology, politics, the environment, and the economy on stories that have taken me to Germany, Turkey, China, Iceland, London, Bangkok, and Davos among other places. Most recently, I have reported extensively on the European debt crisis, having traveled to Greece, Spain, Portugal, England, Ireland and Italy to complete several documentaries on the evolution and broader economic, political, and social implications of the financial crisis. I also produced a multimedia series on the planned opening of the border between Turkey and Armenia, called “A Bitter Century.”
Part of what I think can make a video viral is getting into the “whites of their eyes”– capturing the emotion and personalities “in situ” of a story in ways that honor the larger truth about that story, but also in a way that gives people a voyeur’s glimpse into that world. While covering the collapse of the Icelandic economy in late 2008, I shot an entire story in the span of about 10 minutes in front of the parliament building in Reykjavík. It was centered around the ephemeral, on-the-spot relationship that formed between two strangers who showed up at a protest. Check it out here.
I also drove cross-country in search of Obama-era “green jobs” driving from New York to Santa Barbara. I have specialized in covering the democratization movement and the gift economy (the transformation of our economy from a top-down paradigm to flat and bottom-up).I have reported on a community in Massachusetts which has implemented its own local cash currency, as well as looked at the movement away from cash in a coming “currency revolution.” I have covered the evolution of the maker and DIY movements over the years, including this piece on creative hackers and tinkerers.
I believe journalism has to have a purpose other than profit, though that is certainly a key part to allowing that higher purpose. The kinds of stories we tell are important. There has to be a “there” to our “here”: stories that speak to the heart of the human condition. To that end, I have tried to report on stories of impact, import, and relevance. I have reported on social entrepreneurship, the intersection of sustainable social change and sound business growth. One such example is Asia’s patron saint of social entrepreneurship, a man who started a restaurant decked out in condoms. I also produced, reported, and edited a mini-documentary on restorative justice with New Jersey’s former governor Jim McGreevey as the lead character, focusing on his efforts at remaking his life after leaving politics in scandal. That’s the sublime.
There’s also the ridiculous.
At The Journal, I have also covered the culture of Technology, which includes my “Tech Diary” video column, where I looked at the intersection of technology and human behavior. These are often quirky columns in video-form, including one where I track down people online with my own name. One of my first ones looked at how the new iPhone might help improve your social life. There’s another on the religion of MAC. I also blew up my head once. Anything for my job. I took a look at a new kind of underwear you can wear for two weeks in a row (check out the cool After Effects animated underwear bacteria man I made!). I also hid in the bushes as people on the streets of New York stole chairs equipped with GPS monitoring devices. And I looked at how my family from Stone Mountain, Georgia uses technology. One of the most popular pieces I did at The Journal included one of the first looks at the Steampunk movement, and its broader implications for the democratization movement. Much of Tech Diary isn’t so much about new technology as how user interaction with technology is changing the way we see ourselves, communicate, and live. That includes seniors. I spent a day with a bunch of truckers to see how technology has changed for them, for instance. I also sometimes write for the Journal’s Technology blog, “Digits”. I also get to interview big thinkers, like Ray Kurzweil.
FEEDING THE BEAST
I covered breaking news, of course, including Senator Edward Kennedy’s death, as well as the aftermath of the BP Gulf Oil Spill, hurricanes, and natural disasters.
Prior to joining the Journal in 2007, I reported for the PBS science and technology program “Springboard”, produced out of KQED in San Francisco, where, among other subjects, I reported on entheogens, The Science of Love and the search for self in the Digital Age.
I was also on staff at CNN for eight years, working as Producer, Anchor and Reporter for the TV network, based in Atlanta and San Francisco. My primary work at CNN was reporting on science and technology stories, including an in-depth series on NASA’s Space Shuttle program, where I went up into the launchpad with a shuttle on it (life highlight!). I also got to live with an Amish family for a week, chased tornadoes and went searching for clues to whatever happened to the Anasazi Indians.
I was also a Staff Producer and Reporter for the cable network, TechTV, based in San Francisco. While there, I reported on topics ranging from copyright and intellectual property to tongue splitting and innovations in urinals. I also did a story on MIT researchers who had created a video game using a urinal. I like finding the sublime in the ridiculous. The nut of storytelling lies in that place.
I was also based in Seoul, Korea for a year as a Producer and Consultant for KBS, The Korean Broadcasting System, a job that included reporting from the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas.
I also have a robust background in old media, including work as an Anchor at the CNN Radio Network. When I was not yet old enough to legally work, I was working behind a microphone at a local AM gospel radio station in downtown Atlanta. Most recently, I was an Executive Producer and Talk Show Host at the Air America Radio talk affiliate KQKE-AM, in San Francisco, where I strategized content and branded an LGBT talk show. I’ve also been News Director at WGMG-FM (where I was Jordan Andrews!) and reported news and announced at numerous radio stations, including WAEC-AM, WNIV-AM, WMSL-FM, WPUP-FM, WFOX-FM (Fox 97), WSTR-FM (Star 94) in Georgia and KZQZ-FM, and KNGY-FM (Energy 92.7) in California. The name I used at Energy was “Dieter Jones”. Seriously.
I went to Emerson College in Boston, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from The University of Georgia, with a degree in Comparative Literature and Ancient Greek. I added the Phi Beta Kappa part because that sounds impressive, but I really have had nothing to do with the organization whatsoever since I got my key.
I was a Science Journalism Fellow at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. I was also an Asia Pacific Journalism Fellow in 2008 to Taiwan and Singapore through the East West Center. Through this, I buried myself in a rich tapestry of Asian economics, diplomacy, and religion. I was also fortunate enough to be a fellow in the Korea US Journalist Exchange Program (also through East West Center) , completing a period of study throughout South Korea and Hawaii in 2010. Andy Jordan (can I return to third person now?) was born in Tachikawa, Japan and grew up in Stone Mountain, Georgia. He has lived in Atlanta, Athens, Boston, Seoul, San Francisco, and New York.
LinkedIn profile is here.
Contact: vervengroove at gmail dot com. On twitter at jordantweetz .