Hi, I'm Scott.
At my college paper they called me “Digger,” because there was nothing I wouldn’t do for a good story. Since then I’ve racked up more than two decades of experience in newspapers, magazines and digital media, winning accolades for investigative reporting and breaking news coverage. More recently, I’ve led the newsrooms of highly successful nonprofit publications, producing powerful journalism and finding an audience and the revenue to support it.
I graduated from Penn State in 1994, then earned a masters degree in science and health writing from Columbia in 2007, where I’ve also taught as an adjunct professor. In between those two classroom stints, I spent a dozen years in the newspaper biz, writing stories that helped free an innocent man from death row and send a corrupt politician to jail. I covered the Super Bowl, the Coca-Cola 600, and a Bassmaster Classic all in the same year.
I even earned respect from my usually gruff alt-weekly competitors, who once wrote: “When The Charlotte Observer wants to make a good story a great one, it sends out Scott Dodd.”
After Hurricane Katrina, I wrote and edited stories for the Gulf Coast’s Sun-Herald that contributed to a Pulitzer Prize for public service. Later as a freelancer, I had bylines in publications ranging from Slate to Scientific American. I ran the digital side of NRDC’s award-winning environmental magazine, which was called variously onEarth, OnEarth, or On Earth, depending on how you interpret the logo. We won Folio: awards for best nonprofit magazine website three out of four years in a row, and CJR hailed one of my stories there as “bang-up investigative journalism.”
I brought that same kind of energy to Grist as its top editor, strengthening the newsroom’s focus on investigative reporting and in-depth features while maintaining its distinct voice and visual identity. I also spent a lot of time collaborating on the business and audience development side of the publication, launching new products and special projects, improving user experience, securing new partnerships, and representing Grist to funders, industry groups, and other external audiences.
Aside from journalism, I’ve had the opportunity to develop other important skills and expertise over the course of my career. After Columbia, I spent a year working at Liberty Science Center, managing its online and email marketing content and creating a quarterly membership magazine. Following my success at OnEarth, NRDC promoted me to editorial director for the entire 500-employee organization. That gave me the chance to hire and manage a team of nearly two dozen writers, editors, and producers, working to create social media and video content, digital journalism, email newsletters, and print publications. We also relaunched NRDC.org with a complete content overhaul and new visual identity.
I’m currently a board member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and the Columbia Journalism School Alumni Association, both of which provide me a way to give back to the profession — and help support other diggers out there who are just getting started.