I grew up in the media world and kept on going ...


image of Jim Barlow in 2011
My parents owned a radio station in suburban Indianapolis, where I began on-air work as a fifth-grader. Leaving for college, I had seven years of media experience. I attended college in three states, worked 14 years as a journalist in Texas, including stints with the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Houston Chronicle. Next came 15 years of science writing at Texas Tech University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Since July 2006, I've been the science guy in the University of Oregon news office. I have contributed articles for the Mayo Clinic’s Discovery’s Edge and Forefront research magazines, and for Charter Schools Today magazine. As a freelancer, I want to help clients who need quality writing for the Web, newsletters and various reports. I am a solid photographer. I am versatile. If you need help, I can help you.

I've worked in radio news, on a newspaper sports desk (making editing and layout decisions), and on a city desk (making daily decisions on coverage and editing reporters’ copy). My favorite pieces were profiles of a retired NASA physician taking a community college course on welding to help pass the time on his ranch, and of a retiring Pasadena, Texas, pharmacist whose 50 years in business saw a whole city grow up around him. For the latter, I weaved in how pharmaceuticals changed dramatically and how the city exploded around him. ... I've also done live sports commentary and spun records as a disc jockey. I even helped my mom manage the family radio station’s bookkeeping and payroll.

In 1991, I took my first job as a university science writer (Texas Tech), winning in my first year the grand award for science and medical feature writing from the Albuquerque-based district of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. As 1992 came to a close, I became life sciences editor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where I stayed for 14 very enjoyable years while our son went through K-12 in one school district, which was very important to me. For some eight months while at Illinois, I also served as the primary editor for news releases being issued by the University of Florida during the illness of a staff member there; I did this electronically. I also was primary editor for a book on an alternative speech therapy approach, The Pebble in the Shoe; the developer of the technique has since died.

The basics about me:
  • Education: bachelor of arts, history, emphasis on Latin American history
  • Enough credits for a bachelor's degree in sociology (minus research requirement)
  • Multiple courses in journalism, geography, geology, environmental biology and anthropology.
  • Journalism: radio news anchor/producer, newspaper reporter, city editor, sports writer, sports desk, features writer, special projects, higher education, police beat and courts.

Professional Memberships:
  • National Association of Science Writers
  • Education Writers Association (national, associate member)
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Northwest Science Writers Association