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My “Citizen Journalists” Article Won a Gold Milwaukee Press Club Excellence in Journalism Award

I’m honored to say I was announced this week as winner of a gold Milwaukee Press Club Excellence in Journalism Award in the “Best Short Hard News Feature” category. MPC is the oldest operating press club in North America (e. 1885). The entrants were judged by my peers at other press clubs around the country.

I think some people just have a vague idea that I write about “weird stuff,” but I take what I do seriously. I’ve freelanced on a wide range of topics– food/drink, art, music, independent businesses, interesting personalities, reviews, everything from short blurbs to longform pieces. I think that the more experience you have writing, the more you recognize what you’re good at.

The award was for an article I wrote last year for Milwaukee Magazine titled “Reporting Live from the Street” (the online version has the different title “How Citizen Journalists Captured the Chaos in Kenosha” and is a bit longer than the print version.)

Citizen journalist Brandan Gutenschwager aka BG on the Scene in Kenosha.

I started piecing together the story the day after the shootings by 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha last August, where Rittenhouse killed two people and injured a third. I was watching the news the next day (I watched more cable news this year and last than I have my entire prior life x 3, easily) glued to the reports. I noticed that all of the footage from that night had watermarks on it from “The Rundown Live” and “BG on the Scene.” I happened to know Kristan T. Harris of The Rundown Live, as he participated in some past events I had done, and I wrote an article about him for Milwaukee Record about his bid to be presidential nominee for the Transhumanist Party– he’s an interesting guy.

I learned that Harris, Brandon Guteschwager (BG on the Scene), and others like them were people that are sometimes called “citizen journalists,” independent reporters who livestream from protests and other events to share footage of what’s going on at street level. It is because of the footage of Harris, Gutenschwager, CJ Halliburton (CJTV), and Andrew Mercado (Mercado Media) that we know what happened that night in Kenosha. If they had not captured it, I think it’s entirely possible that Rittenhouse would have walked away from the scene and disappeared into the night unidentified.

That night was far from the end of the story. Rittenhouse was released on a $2 million bail, paid by his admirers (including Silver Spoons actor Ricky Schroder and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell). After making bail, he was spotted at a bar in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin hanging out and singing karaoke with the Proud Boys. And I’m sure people will take to the streets again when Rittenhouse goes on trial (which was pushed back to November).

As for the citizen journalists, they have continued to travel across the country covering events and they’ve shot footage that you’ve probably seen of protests in Minneapolis, the January 6 Insurrection, and other locations. I’d like to thank Kristan T. Harris, Brandon Gutenschwager, and CJ Halliburton for the interviews for the article– their candid accounts of what happened that terrifying night really made the story. I’d also like to thank Kate for her feedback on the article, my editor Chris Drosner at Milwaukee Magazine for his help and supportive words, and everyone else on staff there that I’ve had the opportunity to work with.

You can read the article here: “How Citizen Journalists Captured the Chaos in Kenosha,” Milwaukee Magazine.

I also uploaded an audio file of myself reading the article via the Tea’s Weird Week podcast channels. You can listen here: TWW Singles: Tea Reads his Award-winning Article About Citizen Journalists (podbean.com)

Thanks you all for your support. Being a freelance journalist and an author working with indie book publishers is awesome and thrilling, but not particularly lucrative. If you want to support me as a writer, one of the best ways is to buy one of my books, buy one for a friend, leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads, or share on social media. Here are links to all my books via the best places to buy them:

American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness (2020, Feral House)

Apocalypse Any Day Now: Deep Underground with America’s Doomsday Preppers (2019, Chicago Review Press)

Wisconsin Legends & Lore (2020, History Press)

Monster Hunters (2015, Chicago Review Press)

Heroes in the Night (2013, Chicago Review Press)

Tea’s Weird Week: 2020 Review (e-book collection of my columns from last year)


Today is the official Apocalypse Any Day Now release date!

ApocaCOVER

Today is the official release date of Apocalypse Any Day Now, and I’m glad to say the title has gotten some good media hits over the last week. Here’s a round up:

Milwaukee Record: I wrote an article here speculating on the top 5 places to bunker down in if the Shit Hits the Fan in Milwaukee: https://milwaukeerecord.com/city-life/top-5-places-to-ride-out-the-apocalypse-in-milwaukee-from-the-author-of-apocalypse-any-day-now/ 

morningblend

The Morning Blend- TMJ 4: What a fun time! Who knew the Apocalypse could be perky morning show material? After the cameras were done rolling I hung out with the hosts and talked about Sasquatch and conspiracy theories. Here’s the interview: https://www.tmj4.com/shows/the-morning-blend/deep-underground-with-americas-doomsday-preppers

Milwaukee Magazine: A nice Q and A feature with Archer Parquette here: https://www.milwaukeemag.com/interview-milwaukee-author-tea-krulos-about-his-new-book-apocalypse-any-day-now

See You on the Other Side podcast: I always love being on this podcast, and Mike and Wendy (who are also in a band called sunspot) wrote a new song for the episode called “Fire and Brimstone.” It’s a scorcher, mate! Listen here: http://www.othersidepodcast.com/blog/2019/03/30/241-apocalypse-any-day-now-surviving-the-end-of-the-world-with-tea-krulos/

Riverwest Currents: Lee Gutowski, editor of the paper wrote a book review. You can find a digital version of the newspaper here (or find a print copy in Milwaukee): https://riverwestcurrents.org/2019/03/riverwest-currents-april-issue.html

Here’s my favorite takeaway from the review:

“All in all, Apocalypse Any Day Now is a thorough, fascinating, sometimes scary and often funny look at this serious subject. Krulos treats his subjects with respect- he isn’t laughing and pointing at anyone here. But he certainly has a knack for lightening up some very heavy information with his observations and tone in this uniquely Krulos-ian read.”

Oh yeah, unrelated to this book, but I was also thrilled to see the Outdoor Wisconsin episode featuring Milwaukee Krampus and Milwaukee Krampusnacht, I’m featured in the episode along with many other participants. You can see it online here: https://youtu.be/pb6o07pvQNs

Find out more ways you can support me and the book in my previous blog post: https://teakrulos.com/2019/03/12/ways-you-can-support-me-and-my-new-book/

Buy the book direct: https://www.chicagoreviewpress.com/ApocalypseAnyDayNow

#ApocalypseAnyDayNow