I have been a professional journalist since the age of 16, writing about music and culture. Since then, I have written for numerous newspapers and magazines, wire services including McClatchy and Bloomberg, and hosted a radio show on Northern California’s NPR affiliate. My latest journalism project is a book on Japanese culture, Japan from Anime to Zen, to be published in January 2021.
Just as writing is my fundamental skill, journalism has been my main focus as a writer. I have written for newspapers, magazines and websites for more than 40 years, using my talents as an interviewer, writer and editor to entertain and inform, and I continue to freelance to this day.
My writing has appeared in The Sacramento Bee, my journalistic home for 24 years, as well as in The Miami Herald, The Orange County Register, The Portland Oregonian, The San Francisco Examiner, The Rocky Mountain News, The San Diego Union Tribune and The International Herald Tribune.
I hosted the daily live interview show Insight on Capital Public Radio at Northern California’s NPR affiliate from 2008-2012, first as substitute host, then as full time host.
In 2011, I had an essay published in the prestigious Colombia Journalism Review, in which I reflected on my three years as Editor-in-Chief of the pioneering hyper-local news website SacramentoPress.com, which led the nation in this form of online local journalism.
I won the inaugural Arts Journalist of the Year Award from the Arts and Business Council of Sacramento in October 2011, as recognition of my work in various media covering the arts for more than 30 years.
Since 2011, I have been a freelance writer, specializing in travel, entertainment and Japanese culture, including for the Tokyo-based website www.japanology.com. My work in Japan has led to my first book, Japan from Anime to Zen, which is scheduled to be published in January 2021. The book is a collection of more than 75 short pieces about all aspects of Japanese culture, history, art and food. It will be published by Stone Bridge Press, Berkeley, California. It is available for pre-order at Amazon.
These days I also do a considerable amount of non-journalistic writing, creating narrative strategies for various clients in in Japan.
I continue to explore the synergy among all these platforms, making my way, and living, by continually expanding my scope. I am enjoying new ways to reach people in our rapidly-changing media environment, using my skills to explore blogging, video and podcasting.
I’ve been writing content for a website in Japan for the last five years, and in January, 2021, my first book on the subject will be published: Japan From Anime to Zen is a solid, easy-to-read introduction to Japanese culture, art, history, food and more! The book will be published by Berkeley publisher Stone Bridge Press, and if you would like to pre-order it on Amazon, I would be delighted!
JAPAN FROM ANIME TO ZEN
My first love is music, and my first journalism job, at 16, was writing about music for a free weekly. I eventually became a music critic at The Sacramento Bee and have reviewed hundreds of shows and albums, and interviewed heroes from Patti Smith to Paul McCartney to James Brown – all of whom play a role in my latest and biggest music writing project, music1967.com. A week-by-week history of music’s crucial year, this website is chock-full of facts and insights that any music nerd will love.
The Dallas Morning News
The Miami Herald
The Portland Oregonian
The Sacramento Bee
Columbia Journalism Review
The Sacramento Press
Sacramento News & Review
The Rocky Mountain News
No Depression Magazine
Alaska Airlines Magazine
“Even as a young journalist, David was articulate, fair, knowledgable and unafraid to make the tough calls. As I have watched his career over nearly 30 years and gotten to know him personally, I have been consistently pleased, and even occasionally surprised, by his growth as a reporter, writer and person..." click to read more
“David Watts Barton worked with me for a period of about two and a half years while he was a freelance stringer for Bloomberg News. As an editor on the legal news team in Bloomberg’s San Francisco bureau, I assigned him to cover stories and edited his copy...." click to read more
“David Watts Barton has served as substitute host since 2008 and was interim host for our daily talk show ‘Insight’ from December 2011 to March 2012 as we searched for a full time host. David was a pleasure to work with and a significant asset to..." click to read more
“I miss working with David Watts Barton. David and I worked together at The Sacramento Bee for more than 20 years, until he departed in 2007 to pursue other varied ventures in the world of journalism and multimedia. For many of those years, I was his..." click to read more
“David Watts Barton is that rare combination of talents. He can write, broadcast, blog, sing and completely embraces the social media revolution. He has an intellectual understanding of music and modern culture and yet appreciates how important local politics can be to that culture he loves...." click to read more
“David is as curious and flexible as any journalist I’ve met. In our industry, with such rapid change, that is the highest compliment I can give. (David) helped grow the department to a staff of five, and they produced marvelous work that was well regarded among other independent local online..." click to read more
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