A Digital Journalist since 2009, Andrew Moran isn't your average 24-year-old man: He listens to radio plays from the '40s, regularly reads books on economics, and follows politics like a grizzled Reuters reporter. This is his story.
Andrew Moran knows what he likes. His view of the world is simple: he seeks to enrich his mind with books, classic films and plays, philosophical conversations and writing on world affairs. His passion for writing has given the young Torontonian opportunities to be read by news junkies across the world: on Digital Journal, he has written more than 3,000 articles in his three years on the news network, and his time as a Digital Journalist has won him freelance jobs elsewhere.
Working in journalism satisfies his need to tell interesting stories, particularly from people who may not have otherwise be given a voice. He might cover Tamil protests in Toronto, or interview an independent presidential hopeful. No matter the story, Moran dives deep into his subject and reveals all the angles to the story. You can tell he loves what he does.
Andrew Moran, a Digital Journalist for DigitalJournal.com
"Since I was about eight, I always wanted to be a writer," Moran says in an interview. "I always pictured working at a typewriter, staring at a window full of rain and chilly weather, listening to jazz and drinking coffee."
In his early teens, Moran would read books suitable for book lovers twice his age. He devoured works by Dostoevsky, Pushkin, Balzac. After high school, he took his love of words to a job at a local Toronto newspaper writing entertaining articles. He soon realized writing on pop culture wasn't very satisfying. As he said in our interview, "I'm more knowledgeable about politics than I am about the latest Twilight movie."
Moran's journalistic focus turned to politics and economics, and when he was researching potential writing opportunities online, he found a call for writers from Digital Journal. He joined instantly.
"My experience here has definitely changed since my first year," Moran recalls. "When I first started, I wrote fluff stories, but I remember [Digital Journalist] Jay David Murphy encouraged me to start doing special news stories [in-person reports] so I decided to do it and I haven’t stopped since."
Courtesy Andrew Moran
Andrew Moran, a Digital Journalist for DigitalJournal.com, enjoying a Tim Hortons drink
Moran sees citizen media complementing mainstream news reports, evidenced by his on-the-scene account of a Canadian Tire fire in Toronto. Moran was there taking photos and video, along with others, before the press reached the location, he says. Adding vital info on the ground can be integral to telling the whole story, much like we saw with the Arab Spring and recent Syria news, he adds.
The young journalist values his time at Digital Journal, noting his reportage has led him to get hired at other publications and even work on various freelance assignments with other companies. "It also has given me the opportunity to have a stellar portfolio of in-depth reports, photographs of the newsmakers of the day and plenty of experience."
Courtesy Andrew Moran
Andrew Moran napping with his cat
He has written copy for Helium, Examiner, Ask.com and Groupon-like DealChicken. Most recently, Moran was hired by Economic Collapse News to cover important economic news from an Austrian Economics perspective.
Moran is so busy freelancing he quit his day job as a data entry clerk. "I’m grateful that I can work mostly at home with various streams of full-time and part-time at-home gigs that provide reasonable income."
Freelancing can be a lonesome life, just you and your PC, but he's not alone at home. He lives with his fiancée and enjoys spending hours listening to radio plays with her or talking philosophy. They plan on getting married in October 2013.
"We're loners," he admits, "and at parties, we don't really like the chit-chat thing. We're uncomfortable and just talk about when we're going to leave to go home."
Courtesy Andrew Moran
Andrew Moran, a Digital Journalist for DigitalJournal.com, with his fiancee
Home is in the Leaside area of Toronto, where Moran and his wife-to-be plan to spend the rest of their days. He's lived across the the Toronto area, from Scarborough to Markham to Parkdale, and he has a love-hate relationship with Toronto.
"The best part about Toronto is uptown," he says. "It’s quiet, clean and pleasant to walk around during all seasons. For me, downtown is the worst part of the city: dirty, rude, filled with egocentric, conceited and loutish people."
Living a simple life, Moran doesn't have monumental ambitions you'd expect from a generation criticized for feeling entitled to life's luxuries. Instead, he daydreams about one particular scenario he'd like to make a reality.
"One day, I want to sit in a hotel room across from Eiffel Tower, eating croissants and listening to bee-bop jazz music. I love the idea of French cuisine and romantic old cafes from the 1950s." He pauses. "But I'm a realist. This probably won't happen."