About Bill Shein

About Bill Shein

Bill Shein is the founder and editor of The Berkshire Argus, a new online newsmagazine featuring long-form reporting, profiles, podcast interviews and audio reporting, humor, and more. His primary focus is investigative reporting and in-depth storytelling that puts local stories into a broader regional and national context.

A resident of the Berkshires for more than two decades, Bill contributed humor and opinion columns to The Berkshire Eagle from 2003 to 2011, and later to the weekly Berkshire Record. In 2022-23, he wrote columns and long-form reporting for the digital-only Berkshire Edge, some of which was co-published with The Argus.

His twice-weekly Eagle column, “Reason Gone Mad,” won the National Press Club Award for Humor in 2005, 2008, and 2009. One widely quoted 2007 column, “Last Newspaper Reporter Fired,” highlighted the crisis already unfolding in America’s newsrooms and the danger to democracy with fewer journalists to dig up facts and hold government, corporations, and the powerful to account.

In the 1990s, Bill was a columnist and early blogger for America Online at a time when AOL was, for all intents and purposes, “the Internet.” He was one of only a handful of early-Internet-Age content creators to slip through that heady period without securing untold riches, a story he plans to tell in a memoir titled, “From Rags to Rags.”

Prior to AOL, he was editor and publisher of Washington Wit, a biweekly humor tabloid distributed across metropolitan D.C. He’s also worked at various times as a technology consultant for nonprofit organizations—none of which gave him any humor awards.

And as Google will insist on remembering until that far-off day when the Sun is finally swallowed by the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, Bill was a candidate for Congress in the 2012 Democratic primary in the First Congressional District of Massachusetts. His campaign focused on democracy reform and economic fairness, two areas of American life and politics that he’s happy to report have since been urgently addressed and fully resolved.

Contact Information

E-mail: bshein@berkshireargus.com
Signal (encrypted messaging): BerkshireArgus.99
Postal mail: P.O. Box 443, Great Barrington, MA, 01230
News tips: Submit tips/documents, including sensitive/whistleblower information, using our encrypted form.
What I Cover
My focus is in-depth stories about the Berkshires region that require extensive research, many interviews, review of public documents and historical records, and that explore complexity and nuance. I host The Berkshire Argus Podcast and also write lighter profiles, analysis, and humor.

My Background
I’m originally from the New York City metropolitan area. I received a degree in American History from Tufts University in 1990 and then lived in Manhattan and Washington, D.C. before moving to the Berkshires in 2002. In general, my work has been at the intersection of writing, creativity, and technology, including jobs in publishing, democracy-reform advocacy, television, and online content.

My first job in journalism was in D.C. in 1986 as a summer intern-reporter for an industry newsletter called Telephone News. I covered the evolving telecom landscape following the breakup of AT&T. (As a journalist, you haven’t truly lived until you’ve covered hours-long FCC hearings about RBOCs.)

My Journalism
While I’ve long been a humorist and opinion journalist, my work today focuses on telling deeply reported stories and presenting the perspectives of others. In an age when opinion, partisanship, social-media misinformation, and self-interest have merged into a threat to community and democracy, I believe good reporting and thoughtful discussion are vital. Though I’m no longer active in electoral or partisan politics, I’m still a registered Democrat and vote in local, state, and federal elections.

When reporting a story, I have no preconceived outcome or goal and follow the facts wherever they lead. I talk to as many people as possible, on all sides, with varying perspectives. My goals are accuracy, fairness, and completeness. I don’t accept gifts or favors from those I write about.

As the founder of the Argus, I’m also guiding its start-up phase. Since the summer of 2022, that has included research, planning, web development, and exploring sustainable business models for in-depth local journalism. Until early 2024, when financial support from readers was enabled, I provided all funding for the Argus. At present, I am the sole owner-member of Berkshire Argus, LLC.