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ARTICLES

Working for a newspaper in a town of 30,000, Matt faced two deadlines each morning and was expected to produce a few articles daily. On a given morning, he could write investigative stories about spy satellites and the U.S. space program, a feature on an Elvis impersonator, or an update on local hospital board elections. His geographic beat has expanded considerably since then but the fundamentals remain the same whether he’s writing a magazine piece or a blog: Grab the reader and tell a good story.

   

Blazer Story for Arizona Highways
A story Matt wrote about exploring Navajo Country earned the silver award in the best US/Canada travel article category in the 2015 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Awards competition, sponsored by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation.

2015 Lowell Thomas Award Winner
KJZZ Phoenix Radio Interview

 

Two Mena and a Truck

Cities and Towns
Matt loves the challenge of catching up on the local buzz when he arrives in a town. A morning walk can offer all sorts of insights and another good bet is to find a breakfast joint with a counter rather than a café with sofas: no laptops, more cops, and plenty of stories.

L.A. Story
Jackson Hole
Kodiak Island
Ventura Boulevard

 

Matt Jaffe Writer Articles

Landscapes
Matt was thirteen before he first visited a national park—until then his idea of open space was the outfield at Wrigley Field. It can be humbling to try and say something new about the world’s great places but then again, that’s the challenge. What can you write about the Grand Canyon that hasn’t been written already? You’ll never find out if you don’t ask the question.

Grand Canyon
Big Sur
Monument Valley

 

 

Matt Jaffe Writer Articles

Environment
The challenge of environmental writing is to take complicated subjects and make them relevant to readers by presenting scientific questions in an engaging manner. No issue is more important than the environment but readers can be easily overwhelmed unless they understand how the fate of places, both near and distant, directly relates to their own lives. Humor and personal experiences can break down that resistance, unglaze those glazed eyes, and help raise awareness.

Wildfire In the West
Sea of Cortez
Alaska Rainforest
Sonoran Desert

 
Matt Jaffe Writer Articles
Road Trips
Two hours out of L.A. and you leave 20 million people behind. Two days out of L.A. and you can be on another planet. There’s no such thing as flyover country, just that much more open road waiting to be explored.

Red Rock Road Trip
Central Coast Grand Tour
Old Highway 101
Bryce On Ice
 
Matt Jaffe Writer Articles
Food
Matt’s great grandmother ran a roadhouse inn on the fringes of Kiev, his grandparents owned a chicken farm outside of L.A., and his dad liked to drive across Chicago to a favorite deli just to pick up their butter or sour cream. He definitely inherited the family food genome and is wired more for the basics than the gourmet. Molecular gastronomy? How about a taco truck instead?

Barbecue
Empire of the Orange
Big Island Bounty
Deli Lamas
 
Matt Jaffe Writer Articles
Arts and Culture
Matt once attended a midnight Hindu ceremony on Bali and went out with a shaman in Arizona and then had a vision of an owl and a fox battling for his soul (it was a tie). At a dinner party in Mexico City, Diego Rivera’s daughter Guadalupe dished about dealing with Madonna when the singer was researching her failed Frida Kahlo movie. In a series of interviews, celebrated photographer Horace Bristol told stories about John Steinbeck and the origins of The Grapes of Wrath. What Matt loves most about writing is that it is an ongoing journey into places, people’s lives, and sometimes the self.

Frederico Vigil
Oaxaca
Taos
 
Matt Jaffe Writer Articles
From The Vault: B Sides, Oldies, and Other Eccentricities
Sometimes you just have to have fun—whether anyone bothers to publish the piece or not.

Staycation: A Brief Wondrous Life
Grunion Calling
L.A. Riot Op-Ed
Seinfeld:  It’s Not About Nothing, It’s About Food
This Is Only A Test: A Nuke's Journey From Montana to Micronesia

 
Matt Jaffe Writer Articles
From The Ground Up
Check out Matt’s blog for travel ideas, environmental news, and cultural happenings in California, the Southwest, Hawaii, and beyond.
 
Matt Jaffe's Blog From the Ground Up
     
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