I’ve never been interested in anything other than journalism. I started The Brill Family Times after my K-12 school paper turned me away in fourth grade and told me to come back in high school. That’s also when I decided to start spending time at the offices of Court TV and The American Lawyer, where my parents worked. I ended up helping the producers develop educational programming with Linda Ellerbee (remember Nick News?). At boarding school, I edited the paper’s front page. I loved it, even as my stories enraged the administration. In fact, often, copies of the paper were confiscated by the school to prevent visiting families and prospective students from reading my stories. It was invigorating.
During and after college, I worked in NY in television news at all of the cable networks, Charlie Rose, and also dabbled into the world of online media. I worked at Charlie Rose during the Arab Spring and became convinced that northeast Asia was the world’s next biggest business/policy story, which brought me to graduate school in Seoul, and then to Beijing where I worked for CBS News’s Beijing Bureau (also CBS’s hub for its Asia reporting). My reports were published in the NYT’s China Edition, Buzzfeed, and on ChinaFile.com.
When I came home from China, my yellow lab Maggie who had been with me since the start of high school passed a few weeks later. A new lab, Nellie, was in my life soon after. Because I had been living overseas, much of what I experienced with Nellie felt like being a first-time pet owner. As I rediscovered pet ownership and encountered novelties (at least to someone who had been living overseas) like pet insurance, I realized I’d found my calling. And even as the idea for TCR started to form, I discovered more about pet healthcare and insurance with each emergency Nellie presented – and there were many.
The pet industry is one of the largest, fastest-growing sectors of the American economy. But it lacks the kind of regulatory safeguards found in goods and services for people. And it has not yet been faced with the kind of accountability that strong, independent journalism brings. TCR’s mission is to be that accountability and change. I launched TCR in late 2019 and I am financing all start-up costs. If and when we take on investors, the terms on which they invest will include language that walls off any ability for them to influence editorial content. Our readers will always be informed about who we are and who pays. Until then, TCR’s sole revenue source is our growing list of paid subscribers. I hope you join us.