Email: Brian.Hooks@patch.com Hometown: Ocean City, Md.
Birthday: July 27
Bio Brian Hooks is a Maryland native and a graduate of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. His undergraduate focus was in print journalism, but he also worked at the campus television station and built a multimedia blog on nonprofit media organizations and other experimental methods of approaching the floundering newspaper market. Along with publishing numerous print stories in the greater D.C. area, he has also been active in the Society of Professional Journalists and the International Center for Media and the Public Agenda, out of Salzburg, Austria.
Since graduation, Brian made the trek up Rt. 1, and now lives right next to Savage-Guilford, in North Laurel. His other interests are playing the drums, singing, listening to music, watching football and baseball, beaching and humor –extra dry. He is learning to embrace his shiny head. If you see him in a restaurant, he will probably be eating salad or fish, because he's a pescatarian, but he still has bacon dreams.
At Patch, we promise always to report the facts as objectively as possible and otherwise adhere to the principles of good journalism. However, we also acknowledge that true impartiality is impossible because human beings have beliefs. So in the spirit of simple honesty, our policy is to encourage our editors to reveal their beliefs to the extent they feel comfortable. This disclosure is not a license for you to inject your beliefs into stories or to dictate coverage according to them. In fact, the intent is the opposite: we hope that the knowledge that your beliefs are on the record will cause you to be ever mindful to write, report and edit in a fair, balanced way. And if you ever see evidence that we failed in this mission, please let us know.
I have wanted to be a journalist since I was in high school and, despite the efforts of the political extremists on both sides of the aisle in my family, I have maintained an independence that many journalists seek. Part of my job is to make sure local legislators do their job, so "picking sides" won't help me. If you ask me whether I agree with a politician on a particular issue, I will give my honest opinion --but I don't think there's anyone with whom I agree on everything. And if I don't know enough about an issue to have a strong opinion, I will be the first to admit it.
I was raised Irish Catholic, but so far my experiences have made me non-religious. I like to think practicing kindness and humility, tenets of just about every religion, are valuable in and of themselves.
Local Hot-Button Issues
I have been in the D.C. suburbs for five years now, but spent most of that time in Prince George's County, so I am still learning what the most pressing issues are in Howard County and Savage. From election coverage, so far I've gathered that business stability and budget frugality are what the local politicians talk about the most and, as always, taxes.
Education seems to be a solid priority for the legislators, and I will do my best to make sure they do all they can to uphold Howard County schools as among the best in the state.