Common Sense Commentary

tad_bartimusAward-winning journalist Tad Bartimus shares her no-nonsense insights on the details of our lives in Among Friends. This weekly common-sense commentary from United Feature Syndicate appears in newspapers nationwide!

Focusing her keen observer’s eye on the critical issues of our time, Tad writes with passion and intellect. She approaches big-picture issues from a familiar perspective, showing readers how the political and social issues that dominate the day’s news are not only accessible, but also relevant to our everyday lives. Little escapes her humor or her ire, especially her own foibles; more often than not, she uses her life as a mirror to show us ours. Of her decision to become a columnist after 30 years as a globe-trotting reporter, Bartimus says, “I could always write; now I have something to say.”

“Among Friends reminds us there is more to life than car pools, mortgage payments and no leg room in seat 16B,” explains Bartimus. “It reassures us there is meaning in our days, even when we’re awash in impossibly crowded schedules and yellow sticky notes.”

Writing commentaries with common sense, dry wit and wisdom acquired during her extraordinary professional life, Bartimus’ views are anchored in Midwestern values, but are never predictable because of knowledge gained while reporting on four continents and throughout the United States.

Evidence of Bartimus’ strong connection with readers comes in the tremendous volume of letters and e-mail messages she receives from fans and critics alike – every one of which receives a personal answer. Conversations initiated by Among Friends continue on Bartimus’ Web site,

Fellow columnist Dave Barry claims, “To read Tad Bartimus is to discover how much you’re missing, and how much more you could be getting out of everyday experiences. From the myriad of tiny moments that make up life she mines wisdom, humor and smack-your-forehead truths. Her columns read like letters from a smart and funny friend; you can’t wait to see what the next one says.”

Best-selling author Barbara Kingsolver says Bartimus is “a modern American newspaper columnist-poet. Her work stands out on the editorial page because it contains much more grace and subliminal truth than anything else that’s likely to be found there. And it’s more accessible than most of the literary essays or poetry written today.”

For decades, Bartimus has been a leader for women in journalism. She was AP’s first female bureau chief (1974) and first female special correspondent (1990). She was a war correspondent in Vietnam, a foreign correspondent in Europe and Latin America, and a special roving correspondent in the United States. When illness compelled Bartimus to leave the AP in 1993, she was named Atwood Professor of Journalism at the University of Alaska Anchorage (1993-96). Her students, and their stories, inspired her to write her own; Among Friends was the result. From 1998 to 2000, the column was distributed by The Women Syndicate, of which Bartimus is CEO and co-founder with her husband, Dean Wariner.

One of 55 women whose careers have been chronicled in the Washington Journalism Foundation’s Oral History Project, Bartimus has also been awarded a lifetime achievement medal from her alma mater, the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing (1989, 1991), she has been honored for her writing by the Associated Press Managing Editors Association more times than any other living AP journalist. She has received Headliner and Inter American Press Association awards, and a year after launching Among Friends, Bartimus won the Clarion Award from the Association for Women in Communications for best editorial commentary over 100,000 circulation.

In 1985, Bartimus founded the Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS), an organization which aims to help women journalists and writers achieve their full potential. Dozens of women in several countries have been awarded financial aid by JAWS ( to help further journalistic freedom.

Frequently invited to be a professional-in-residence at the University of Missouri, the University of Colorado and other colleges and universities, Bartimus also regularly teaches writing at the Maui Writers Conference (, at seminars in Provence, France, (, at writing retreats in Hawaii and Montana ( and as a volunteer mentor at the public school where her husband teaches 6th grade.

Bartimus contributed her story to the book WAR TORN: Stories of War from the Women Reporters Who Covered Vietnam (Random House, 2002). She also wrote the text for Requiem, a collaborative effort with David Halberstam, Horst Faas and Tim Page that won Overseas Press Club and George Polk awards in 1998. She co-authored Trinity’s Children: Living Along America’s Nuclear Highway with Wall Street Journal with Wall Street Journal columnist Scott McCartney, and was a co-author with other band members, including Stephen King, Amy Tan and Matt Groening, of Mid-Life Confidential: The Rock Bottom Remainders Tour America with Three Chords and an Attitude.