Justin McGown

Journalist For Hire

Location icon United States

2020 graduate of the Magazine Writing & Digital Storytelling MA at New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism institute.

Graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2015 with a BA in Creative Writing and a minor in Professional Writing.

Experienced copywriter and editor in both agency and freelance spaces, former online editor of The Tartan, which serves a population of 30,000, and and recently an intern at Bedford + Bowery.


News Coverage and Photo Essays

Pavement Pieces
Adaptation - Pavement Pieces

There are more than 27,000 restaurants, bars, and cafes in New York City. Or at least, there were before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite efforts to prevent the loss of cultural institutions and economic drivers embodied in these eateries, the New York Times estimated that more than 1,000 closed their doors for good by September.

Bedford + Bowery
'Outdoor Dining' Is Looking More and More Like Indoor Dining: Is It Safe?

As winter approaches, the city's restaurants have scrambled to replace their outdoor dining areas with structures that offer shelter from not just the sun but also the wind, cold, and snow. But how safe are these "covid cabins," as they've been snarkily coined on social media?

Bedford + Bowery
On the Aesthetics of Sneezeguards, Restaurants Are Divided

Sneezeguards used to be the stuff of Vegas buffets and midtown lunch delis, but as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, they're now essential equipment in New York's trendiest restaurants. While not strictly mandated by the safety regulations put in place by both Albany and City Hall, barriers made of plexiglass, acrylics and other varieties(...)

Bedford + Bowery
Decision 2020: What to Do While Waiting For Results?

I planned to spend election night in Connecticut with my parents, but work and Cuomo's cautioning against traveling to neighboring states with spiking COVID rates have conspired to keep me here in the city. So I began casting about for somewhere to be or something to do on Election Night.

Pavement Pieces
Zombie genre feels real during pandemic - Pavement Pieces

A live action scene plays out at the start of a new game, made up of reports about a mysterious outbreak, failures to contain the disease, riots erupting, and an oversized body bag covered in caution tape being loaded into a helicopter.

'We Will Not Be Silenced!'

Women and their supporters gathered in Washington Square Park on Sunday, March 8 to mark International Women's Day, though the event was billed on Facebook as the International Women's Strike, subtitled Paro Internacional de Mujeres.

Pavement Pieces
The Uber Primary - Pavement Pieces

The Democratic primary debate at Saint Anselm College came on a brutally cold Friday night in New Hampshire. When the wind blew, ice fell off the trees in crystalline shards. It did little to dissuade the supporters and protestors at the college's entrance. They chanted, they shouted, they yelled.

J. McGown
Fruit Snacks Taste Like Revenge

On a warm Sunday morning in September, Bahar Hallaeva, the 3rd ranked female chess player in Turkmenistan, and the 801st best International Chess Federation (FIDE) registered woman in the world, was playing her second round of the day in the basement cafeteria of PS 183. Her opponent began to fidget, then glance at the neighboring...

'We Will Not Be Silenced!'

Women and their supporters gathered in Washington Square Park on Sunday, March 8 to mark International Women's Day, though the event was billed on Facebook as the International Women's Strike, subtitled Paro Internacional de Mujeres.

'We Will Not Be Silenced!'

Women and their supporters gathered in Washington Square Park on Sunday, March 8 to mark International Women's Day, though the event was billed on Facebook as the International Women's Strike, subtitled Paro Internacional de Mujeres.

Weighing the cost of on-campus housing - The Tartan

When it comes to housing at Carnegie Mellon University, after students' first year, two of the most luxurious options for those looking to live on campus are Webster Hall Apartments and Fairfax Apartments. While both are owned and operated by NDC Real Estate Management, Inc., Carnegie Mellon leases numerous apartments in both buildings.

'Fight for 15' protestors call for higher wages - The Tartan

Shortly after a closure for the University of Pittsburgh's annual Bigelow Bash, Bigelow Ave. was once again closed to traffic last Wednesday. This closure wasn't for a student event; instead a large crowd filled the cordoned-off street and rallied around a pickup truck. Speakers acted as a makeshift stage.

Conflict Kitchen reopens after receiving death threats - The Tartan

Despite gray skies and near-freezing weather for most of the day, Conflict Kitchen's reopening last Wednesday - after it closed due to a recent letter containing death threats - was met with all-day traffic and enthusiastic support. On the day of the reopening, a line stretched from the counter to the edge of Schenley Plaza, accompanied by a visible police presence.

Crepes Parisiennes applies for liquor license - The Tartan

Crepes Parisiennes is looking to provide customers with more than its already-wide range of crepes, waffles, and pastries - it is now applying for a liquor license. According to documents from the Office of City Clerk, a resolution for a transfer of licenses to the owners of the creperie has passed.

Students advertise at CMU - The Tartan

Both Horowitz for Microsoft and Lee and Katz for Google said that their superiors were reached mainly through online means: either conference calls to corporate headquarters (frequently at odd hours due to time zone differences) or emails.

New Chipotle now set to open in Sept. - The Tartan

Students said goodbye to the Panther Hollow Inn, a popular bar for the campus community located at 4611 Forbes Avenue that closed its doors for the last time at the end of the last academic year. Since that time, the building has been gutted.

Nominations open for Excellence in Theatre Education Award - The Tartan

Last year, Carnegie Mellon University became the exclusive higher education partner of the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre. As a result, the next Tony Awards will feature a new category: The Excellence in Theatre Education Award. Nominations for the award are now open, and Carnegie Mellon will play a major role in granting this award.

Arts and Entertainment

Ylvis triggers viral sensation with "The Fox" - The Tartan

If you see somebody screaming something like "JTCHOK-CHOK-CHOK-CHOKTA!" with an accompanying dance in the next few weeks, don't worry. Chances are they're emulating the musical stylings of the Norwegian musical cabaret act known as Ylvis, rather than indulging in something that's illegal in the state of Pennsylvania.

Iain Banks lays on inside jokes - The Tartan

Iain M. Banks is a Scottish author who is renowned for his series of space opera novels about "the Culture." The Culture is a galaxy-spanning civilization that's solved most of its problems. Everybody can have any material thing they desire; people can take on inhuman appearances and change sex at will over the course of a month; and for the most part, people only die if they choose to, usually after 400 years or so.

Cosplayers invade Downtown - The Tartan

Over 3,000 people converged at the Wyndham Grand hotel in downtown Pittsburgh when it hosted Tekkoshocon X, a Japanese culture convention, last Wednesday to Sunday. Many participants, known as cosplayers, came in hand-crafted costumes as anti-zombie commandos, school girls, wizards, aliens, knights, monsters, and more.

Hot pot restaurant opens in Oakland - The Tartan

After a lengthy renovation the former Pizza Sola location on Atwood Street reopened a couple weeks ago as the location of Top Shabu-Shabu & Lounge. The restaurant was packed, although it was hard to determine how much of that came from the place being new and how much came from the popularity of the Japanese take on the traditional hot pot style of cooking.

Mixed reviews for "Sweet Jesus!" - The Tartan

Among Spring Carnival's attractions this year was a chance to catch an early glimpse at Sweet Jesus!, a new musical with music and lyrics by senior music composition major Eric Dietz, in the form of a concert reading. The script was written by Carnegie Mellon alumna Shannon Deep (BHA '10, HNZ '11) and Dietz's score was orchestrated by Matt Aument (CFA '10).


J. McGown
Red (and blue and green and yellow and pink...) Light District

Let There Be Neon is a unique gallery of neon based works and active workshop supplying some of the city's most iconic signage. I was granted a behind-the-scenes tour of this positively glowing piece of New York history. One of the first things to greet visitors to Let There Be Neon is this display behind...

Copywriting and Marketing

Going Nuts for LA's Best Donuts - Postmates

One look at all these fresh AF donuts, and we know what's going through your head, Los Angeles: You want one. We know. We did it on purpose. (#SorryNotSorry) So the big question becomes: What kind? Maybe it's the classics: a French cruller, a maple bar, or a jelly-filled donut covered in powdered sugar.

Free Enterprise
Austin's Tech Scene: On the Comeback Trail

Across the country, tech entrepreneurs and pop culture fans alike are gearing up for this year's South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, which will feature hundreds of musical performances, dozens of film screenings, and almost 300 exhibitors between March 10 and 20. Some 72,000 people have already registered for the event.

Making Physics Physical

What is the best way to learn the physics behind bridges? By building one.

3 Million Dimensions: Part One

Sometimes, inspiration comes in the form of a misprinted dinosaur. In 2011, WobbleWorks was developing Troody, a robotic dino toy. At the time, the company's business model was to develop toy ideas to sell to other companies. Maxwell Bogue and Peter Dilworth, founded the company together in 2010.

Energy Factor
Keep them rolling! - Energy Factor

ExxonMobil has been following this recipe for years at its tire-testing facility in its Baytown Technology & Engineering Complex in Texas. The extensive tire testing has made the facility's staff the world's experts on subjects like how fast a tire loses inflation pressure - known as inflation pressure loss rate - which hurts vehicle fuel mileage ...

Front Range News
A Natural History of Natural Gas

Natural gas is, in many ways, a substance of the future. It's a powerful fuel source that will be a key part of meeting the world's growing demand for energy. It is also the source of chemical compounds that are key to the creation of plastics and other materials used in daily life.

Fan Creations: Cosplaying with the 3Doodler

For some, the adventure doesn't end when the book closes or the credits roll. Fan Creators take inspiration from their favorite movies, games, comics, and cartoons and make incredible things. To see what that passion can produce, we gave some hardcore fans the latest 3Doodler Create for two weeks.

Energy Factor
Pioneers of innovation: The battery that changed the world - Energy Factor

If you are reading this on a phone, tablet or laptop, you should probably thank Dr. M. Stanley Whittingham. In the 1970s Dr. Whittingham was working in a battery technology lab for ExxonMobil when he created the very first examples of a radical new technology: the rechargeable lithium ion battery that's most likely powering your ...

Critic's Choice: Drawing New Insights with Zhenzhen Qi

Artists and creators the world over recognize the 3Doodler as a powerful and revolutionary tool. But what impact do the critics, professors, and curators of the art world think the 3Doodler will have?

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