Michael J. Farr

Multimedia journalist and former military analyst with a decade of experience in academic and professional media work. Specializes in news-feature writing and web production.


Experience

Pivot Group: Sept 2016-Present

Digital Marketing Specialist: Web project manager for mid-size marketing agency.

  • Manage multiple long-term website projects while addressing daily maintenance needs of other clients.
  • Front-end website development including inline CSS and HTML coding.
  • Develop and executed Search Engine Optimization strategies and services for Pivot and our clients.
  • Delegate tasks to designers/developers, and assign deadlines to keep pace projects.
  • Advise clients on best web practices, and recommend web tools to meet their business requirements.
  • Write user manuals and train clients in the use of their website.

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Portland State University: March 2015-June 2016

Web and Social Media Specialist: Manager of recreation department's website and social media portfolio.

  • Promote events, clubs and the department’s mission through storytelling and traditional advertising.
  • Redesigned website to meet WC3 Accessibility Standards.
  • Work alongside marketing staff to brainstorm, design and execute marketing campaigns.
  • Photograph events and assemble narrative photo galleries for online promotion.
  • Deliver regular web and social media analytics reports to marketing manager.

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United States Army: Nov 2011-Nov 2014

Analyst: Senior enlisted analyst of 4-6 Attack Reconnaissance Squadron’s security office. Verify, track and handle clearances of unit’s approx. 400 soldiers; give threat briefings to unit’s pilots/officers. Guide/counsel junior analysts.

Public Affairs Representative: Photograph squadron events and publish galleries on unit’s Facebook page, whose “likes” were quadrupled under my care. Write occasional articles for local publication

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Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, CA

March 2009-Sept 2011

Web producer: Solely in charge of LATimes.com homepage for the first two hours of morning shift, which required monitoring news wires, writing headlines and coordinating with newsroom staff during the site's peak hours. Assisted lead homepage producer throughout the rest of the day by uploading multimedia content to web stories, editing photos, moderating comments and tracking web traffic, which numbered more than two million daily pageviews.

  • Involved in various latimes.com “Data Desk” projects, which utilized Python/Django systems to create interactive databases.
  • Hand-coded (HTML/CSS) pages for unique presentations.
  • Regular contributor to “Afterward” obituary blog. 

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The Chimes, La Mirada, CA: Biola University

Aug 2007-May 2010

Web Editor: Doubled monthly web traffic by pioneering a blog section; developing web-only content; introducing custom coding; and uploading all print content online. (http://chimes.biola.edu)

News Editor: Set the weekly budget for the first three pages of the newspaper; assigned stories to a team of 6+ writers; wrote major news stories; copy edited; and laid out pages for production.

Staff Writer: Named news writer of the year (2007) while writing weekly articles on student government, the university’s finances and campus events.

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The Washington Times, Washington, D.C.

Feb-May 2008

Reporting / Web Desk Intern: Wrote news / blog articles for website and covered Capitol Hill events and issues in the national and metro sections of the print edition. Interviewed celebrities and politicians for articles.

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The Point magazine, La Mirada, CA, Biola University

Aug-Dec 2007

Managing editor: Led staff meetings, managed deadlines and acted as liaison between the editorial staff and writers of a magazine that won top prize at the national Associated Collegiate Press conference.

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The Statesman Journal, Salem, OR:

Intermittently 2004-2006

Various Roles: Learned the journalism business while working as an HR department intern, serving on the editorial board’s student opinion panel and writing guest columns for the education page.

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The Clarion, Salem, OR: North Salem High School: 2002-2006

Editor-in-Chief: Led a monthly high school newspaper by managing a staff of 10 section editors; writing articles about campus events; and laying out and approving pages. Improved design of page templates and masthead.  Successfully recruited and trained new staff for the following year.

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Education

Biola University, La Mirada, CA, 2006-2010
Journalism Major
GPA 3.8 — graduated magna cum laude
   – Inducted into the Epsilon Kappa Epsilon honors society
   – 2010 Print Journalism Student of the Year

Portland State University, Portland, OR, 2015-ongoing
Russian Language - Post-Baccalaureate Studies
Part of the Department of Defense-funded Russian Flagship Program
   – Winner of State Department's 2016 Critical Language Scholarship
      Spent the summer intensively studying Russian in Vladimir, Russia
  – Delivered presentations and wrote essays on current events in Russian



Skills

  • Concise AP-style writing
  • A/V Editing / Final Cut Pro
  • Web management/production
  • HTML/CSS coding
  • Photography / Photoshop
  • Layout and page design
  • Project management
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Military background
  • Advanced Russian skills

Highlights

  • Winner of State Department's Critical Languages Scholarship to Russia - Summer 2016
  • Experience with top newspapers, L.A. Times, The Washington Times
  • Print Journalism Student of the Year - Biola University, 2010
  • 9-month Army deployment to South Korea

References

"Michael Farr is a dedicated and diligent media specialist who can craft narrative and shape it for interactive Web contexts with finesse. He has a passion for people's stories and tells them well because he cares about people deeply. They sense it when they meet him and they're convinced of it as they see him in action, taking care to guard their dignity in the storytelling pursuit. Hire Michael, promote him, and you'll find your organization thriving because of it."

- Michael Longinow, Biola University Journalism Department Chair

* * * *

Michael was a highly skilled, supremely talented journalism student in my class at Biola. He was head and shoulders above the other students, mature beyond his years and exhibited a dogged perseverance uncommon even for seasoned reporters. He had a quick, agile mind and grasped difficult concepts with ease. His writing was lucid and clean, again uncommon for a student of limited experience. He gets my highest recommendation - because he earned it.

- Mark Landsbaum, Orange County Register columnist

* * * *

Michael is in the top 1% of soldiers I worked with as an officer in the Army. A born analyst, I depended on Michael to wade through huge amounts data, articles, reports, and other information then rapidly synthesize it into a short usable intelligence brief. He excelled at this task.

As the unit Public Affairs Officer ( a task typically reserved for an officer 7 ranks senior to him) Michael's exceptional writing ability and communications skills truly shined. His articles were published across the Korean Peninsula and he received an Army Commendation Medal for his remarkable efforts.

Michael's motto was to always be the best no matter what task or duty he was assigned. Anyone who is lucky enough to hire him will get exactly that.

- Evan Eltinge, U.S. Army Captain

Using Format