I am a staff reporter for the Needham Times, a Gatehouse Media-owned community newspaper based in Needham, Mass. I recently graduated summa cum laude from Boston University with a B.A. in history and a B.S. in print journalism.
During my time at BU, I interned at and freelanced for a variety of publications, writing about everything from arts and entertainment to homelessness to home improvement. I created this website so that both professional and personal contacts can see what I’ve written over the past four years.
A note on the title of this digital portfolio: I wanted to avoid a bland phrase, such as “Emily Cataneo’s clips”. I thought to myself: I write primarily about Boston and its suburbs. Shouldn’t I choose something that connects to the city where I live and work? I thought immediately of my favorite Boston-related short story: H.P. Lovecraft’s “Pickman’s Model,” which I read in the autumn of 2007 in my first months of college. In the story, gothic artist Pickman paints images of demons, ghouls and other supernatural beings, much to the horror of the snooty Boston art scene. At the end of the story, it’s revealed that Pickman isn’t working from his imagination–instead, the macabre subjects of his paintings actually exist in the underground spaces and twisted alleyways of the city. The most striking image in the story is Lovecraft’s description of one of Pickman’s paintings, which depicts ghouls pouring out of a crack in the Boylston subway station. Hence, the demon in the subway.
But as I thought more the demon in the subway, I realized that it symbolizes more than just Boston– it connects nicely with journalism, too. In Lovecraft’s story, nobody wants to talk about the demon in the subway. Most people don’t even knows it exists, but Pickman’s dedicated his career to recording its existence.
Isn’t that what journalists should try to do? Dig out the problem that nobody wants to talk about? Write the story that hasn’t been written before? Talk to the person who hasn’t been quoted yet? Instead of simply fulfilling the status quo, we should find the new story, the real story. We should strive to write about the demon in the subway.
At least, that’s what I try to do.