Michael Bodine

Writer/Journalist

Location icon United States

Hybrid problem solver/storyteller with unique eye and poetic diction
I'm a veteran newspaper and investigative reporter/dinosaur and published poet. Officially a "small town" reporter, I have never been assigned a beat, but covered everything; from photographing the annual Mule Days Parade, to sitting in on murder trials and fact-checking the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
What I find most interesting in being a writer and reporter is the creativity of people. People are regularly pulling things out of thin air that go on to revolutionize an industry, an office or mankind. Luckily, imagination is not limited to artsy types, and the criminals and liars create masterpieces as well.
Publishers repeatedly assign me to write obituaries, profiles, human interest pieces or set on "bulldog" assignments i.e., investigations, impersonations, covert interviews and records collection with detailing. Both kinds of assignments are an invasion of personal space that require patience and maturity to investigate and detail with respect and objectivity. It’s that invasion with which any reader can relate. The details are going to be as different as people are, but everyone has a space within them that cannot be entered without coercion.
I have a track record of being patient, sensitive and empathetic yet firm and clean in my approach to interviews. "I've never opened up about this before," is a comment I hear often.
I have a unique eye for finding and describing details that encapsulate a personality or situation, like the butcher who wielded a 12-inch stick of pepperoni like a conductor's wand during an interview or the eerie quiet made by hundreds of wildland firefighters getting chow at a camp beneath smoke filled skies. I can “call it like I see it,” go gonzo, tastefully sensationalize, highlight the absurd, make jokes, transcribe or write it straight. I have earned the trust of publishers to be autonomous with content and angles.
I am also a published poet and instructor for the California Poets in the Schools. Poetic license and the freedom of language is as dear to me as the First Amendment, but most poems like most news stories, fail hard at keeping a reader's attention without juicy content. I put my money where my mouth is and write news copy that is both entertaining and informative and poems that convey my emotions without sounding like an angsty teenager.
My career as a journalist has paralleled the rise of the Internet, and I have learned to operate analog and digital tools; from cold-calling and chasing ambulances, to teasing stories on social media, computer hacking and fake news.
As a researcher for Project Censored at Sonoma State University, I learned how to follow a paper trail and witnessed the direct influence of advertisers on editorial content. Project Censored is an annual publication that details and ranks major news stories that have been buried and attempts to expose the subjects further. Churning out books and curious minds since 1976, Project Censored and was once considered the Pulitzer Prize of alternative media.
I landed my first newspaper gig because I could write. I was finally hired at the local rag, the only writing gigs in town, after two communication majors hired ahead of me were hired but couldn't produce. Being curious has made the reporting part easy.
As a freelance writer for the past five years, primarily for The Sheet in Mammoth Lakes, I was given reign and direction to conduct deeper, long-range investigations and the importance of showing face. I was never scooped at The Sheet, and the other three local outlets were usually unaware of my stories until we published.
I have taught poetry, wrote for a semi-independent college paper post-Hazelwood decision, was “staffulty” or half-faculty, half-staff member at the ultra-exclusive Deep Springs College and produced news and a jazz show for Sonoma State radio, KSUN.
Nature called to me as a child, developing a strong relationship with, and appreciation for, the outside world. I have contacts on the ecological and environmental activism and conservation front lines and backcountry.
Music is my special friend and have extensive knowledge of early hard rock/heavy metal, jazz, (bop, post, Downtown), world and electronic music.
I'm genuine and sincere, and incredibly creative.

Portfolio
Thesheetnews
11/27/2015
Get the led out

Former Mono County Administrator (CAO) Jim Leddy allegedly looked down a county employee's blouse, tried to guess her bra size, asked her if she wanted to take a bath with him, invited her to a threesome, and wanted to make a check out to her "for sex."

Thesheetnews
02/09/2018
Stipendintendent

MCOE officials receiving stipends okay, says DA The Sheet was recently approached by several local citizens concerned that Mono County Office of Education Superintendent Stacey Adler was turning their tax dollars into bonuses for administrators. Administrators have received $93,530 in stipends since 2012. A group came

Thesheetnews
06/10/2016
The pie that ate the Sky

Pie in the Sky calls it quits after nearly four decades, but the resort, cabins, store, boats, grill and scenery remain. There is no more Pie in the Sky. The Rock Creek Lakes Resort is still open, it has the grill, cabins, store, and boats for rent like always, there's just no more pie.

The Sheet News
May 21, 2016 Vol. 14, No. 21
Pants on Fire

The Sheet, May 21, 2016 Vol. 14, No. 21 Pants on Fire Did Fesko drink the RCRC Cola? By Bodine It appears Mono County Supervisor Tim Fesko did not tell the truth about his knowledge of a piece of draft legislation that would have committed the county to an expensive project. At the February 16 Mono County Board of Supervisors meeting, he said if he had known about the Adventure Trails legislation earlier than the beginning of February, he would have brought it to the attention of the...

Thesheetnews
03/04/2016
"Who named it the arsenic pond?"

No one knows why Crystal Geyser Roxanne didn't get a permit to dispose of arsenic into an un-lined pond, or why no one caught the arsenic seeping out of the pond and into the soil and groundwater, or what exactly is going to be done about it.

Ridgecrest Daily Independent
Lone gunman terrorizes east Ridgecrest

After a four-hour standoff, David Park is apprehended by the Kern County SWAT team from his trailer at the Desert Empire Fairgrounds RV park. A male had barricaded himself inside a trailer at the Desert Empire Fairgrounds RV Park on Thursday morning. The suspect was identified by the Ridgecrest Police Department as David Park, owner of ProShop Nutrition.

Eastern Sierra
Eastern Sierra

Eastern Sierra adventures, food & drink, tips from locals, hotels, camping, things to do, sightseeing, plan your trip to California's Eastern Sierra