I want to end this week with a video that will make you feel good. It starts off in sunny southern California, mix in a little piano and then a big screen parked in the middle of somewhere. Suddenly you see two skeletons dancing, embracing, kissing and then the “ah-ha” moments.
Love has no gender
Love has no race
Love has no disability
Love has no age
Love has no religion
Big changes at ABC News.
The network announced today that two Latinos, Cecilia Vega and Tom Llamas have been promoted to anchor ABC’s “World News Tonight” Saturday and Sunday editions. Both are accomplished award-winning journalists with a resume of experience.
Also announced today: Vega, Llamas and Senior National Correspondent, Jim Avila have been named to ABC’s 2016 Presidential Election Team.
In my opinion this is HUGE!
Two Latinos named to anchor weekend news at the same time has to be a first in media history, and definitely at ABC News. Yes, Elizabeth Vargas filled the seat on her own a few years ago.
Naming three Latinos to the prestigious presidential election team has to be a first too. In 2012 you hardly saw any Latino journalists assigned to election coverage on any of the network or cable channels. Jim Avila will be a great addition because he can cover any story and he knows politics. He’s also currently Fusion’s White House correspondent.
The promotion of Vega, Llamas, and Avila is a big deal to the Latino community, because finally we’re seeing people that look like us on network news and on big assignments. I’ve been watching network news for decades and finally I’m seeing good change.
ABC News has done a great job of hiring more qualified Latino journalists and now the promotions of these three correspondents is a sign that we are being included in all areas of network news. Congrats to Cecilia, Jim and Tom! I know they’ll continue to do outstanding work.
ABC News announcement of promotions
Jim Avila biography
Tom Llamas biography
Cecilia Vega biography
Police departments in North Texas are showing the world they do have a sense of humor.
My last blog was about the Arlington Police Department having fun on Twitter and Facebook with the snowfall in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. They questioned Disney’s Queen Elsa.
Now the Cedar Hill Police Department has posted their “Live in your moment” video featuring Sgt. Larry Wise. It’s the department’s spoof of Matthew McConaughey’s Lincoln commercial.
Creative, funny, and worth a watch.
Thanks Sgt. Wise for the laugh! I can’t wait to hear what McConaughey thinks about the spoof.
Let me know what you think of the video.
As the snow piled up in the Dallas/Fort Worth area on Friday, and traffic came to a standstill on most roads and highways; Arlington Police thought about having a little fun on social media.
They asked on Twitter and Facebook “So who is responsible for all this cold weather and snow today?” Well it had to be Disney’s Queen Elsa. The rest will give you a laugh.
By the way, Arlington Police told me on Twitter that the woman dressed as “Queen Elsa” is one of their own detectives. Thanks APD for having fun today.
After watching most of the 2015 Super Bowl commercials, I have to say the ones with emotional ties were the most memorable. And although she’s considered one of the most beautiful women in the world, putting Kim Kardashian in your ad doesn’t mean you’ll even remember it when it’s over. I wasn’t wowed by any of the ads with celebrities. Some were good, but my best picks made me laugh, tear up or left me empowered.
Here are my Top 5 best picks and there is one tie. Enjoy!
Top Picks was a tie – Always #LikeAGirl and McDonald’s Pay with Lovin
#2 Budweiser’s “Lost Dog”
#3 Bud Lights Real Life PacMan #UpforWhatever
#4 Snickers Brady Bunch
#5 Dove’s #RealStrength
The tech students at A. Maceo Smith New Tech High School in Dallas have made Bruno Mars one happy man, so happy the Grammy award-winner was moved to tears.
Mars recently got to see the high school student’s choreographed dance video to his collaborated hit “UpTown Funk” with Mark Ronson. School Director and Theatre Arts teacher Scot Pankey and his students had fun producing this video. They danced their way through the school.
Pankey posted on his Facebook “So proud of my kids. We filmed this in one take! This is a great example of how a bunch of technology students dropped their fears, trusted their teacher and got down to Uptown Funk!!!!”
The video just posted a few days ago already has more than 3 million views.
Bruno Mars showed his appreciation to the teacher and students on Twitter.
What a great way to inspire students. Kudos to Scot Pankey and the school administration who allowed it to happen. Here’s hoping they get on Jimmy Kimmel, Ellen or even The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Congratulations to the Cara Mia Theatre company’s directors, cast, crew and design team who made ‘Zoot Suit’ a huge success. The live show has been recognized as one of the best in 2014 by the Dallas Morning News.
Arts and Entertainment reporter, Nancy Churnin named ‘Zoot Suit‘ as one of her top 10 best shows this year. I have to agree. Ok full disclosure, I’m a board member with Cara Mia. Maybe that’s why I feel like a proud mom today. I loved ‘Zoot Suit.’ I saw it twice and it made me cry, laugh and think of how similar the storyline was to situations happening today.
As Churnin put it in the DMN:
This 35-year-old musical proved eerily apt as the rallies it depicts protesting the treatment of Latinos in the 1940s opened in the midst of rallies protesting the treatment of African-Americans. It’s part of a strong year for Cara Mía, now in the midst of its first five-play season. (more)
I know nothing about acting, and I definitely can’t sing. What I do have is a passion for keeping Latino theater alive in North Texas. I’ve learned a lot about the theater world in my short time as a board member. Everyone involved in these live performances is deeply committed. Three of the hardest working people at Cara Mia are David Lozano (Executive Artistic Director), Ariana Cook (Administrative Director) and Casie Pierce (Development Manager). Thank you for your passion, energy and hard work.
Cara Mia Theatre has more live productions in 2015. Don’t miss out on the live shows. Check out the theater company’s website and see what will be on stage next. Cara Mia Theatre
WBFF-TV has done major damage with a deceptive video it aired on Sunday. The Fox affiliate in Baltimore apologized for the video on Monday, but viewers are still angry.
Gawker broke the story. It reported:
Baltimore’s WBFF aired a video of protesters chanting “kill a cop”– evidence, it claimed, of murderously violent rhetoric on the part of anti-brutality protesters in Washington, D.C. The only problem? The protesters weren’t chanting “kill a cop” at all, and there’s video evidence to prove it. (read more at Gawker)
Here’s the video of the Justice For All march:
Here’s WBFF-TV version of the event:
DECEMBER 22 – WBFF-TV APOLOGIZES ON FACEBOOK
DECEMBER 22 – WBFF-TV FACEBOOK POST
I’ve worked in TV news for more than 28 years. There are layers of producers and managers who oversee everything that goes into each newscast. Managers usually sign-off on a scripts before the video is edited. How did this script slide by? In TV news we’re all responsible for what goes on the air.
WBFF’s actions have lost the viewer’s trust. I feel for those on the news team who will be hurt by this video and had nothing to do with it. I’ve read posts on the stations Facebook page. Viewers are to put it bluntly–pissed off and want heads to roll.
Let’s be honest, WBFF’s actions also hurt the rest of us journalists. We work very hard every day to be factual and fair in our reporting. We can’t risk losing our loyal readers, viewers and listeners when we know they have many news sources to choose from.
With one video, WBFF left a trail of damage.
Now I hope the news director comes out with an explanation because the “honest misunderstanding” excuse is not good enough. If people are not held accountable for this major mistake, then I hope news management provides the Sunday staff training to avoid any future problems.
James Risen is probably feeling relieved today.
NBC News reports that Attorney General Eric Holder has decided not to force Risen to reveal the name of a confidential source. He wrote a book that detailed a botched CIA effort to sabotage Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
Risen was also was facing jail time. Earlier this year, he told 60 Minutes he would never give up his source. Every reporter should watch his interview with Leslie Stahl.
Imagine exploring 1,000 miles over 100 days of Florida’s Everglades, wildlife habitats, and working on farms in ranches. That’s what they did on the Florida Wildlife Corridor‘s first expedition in 2012. The conservation advocacy organization is about to have another expedition in January 2015.
I just learned about this group today when I got an email from the organization about November being Manatee Awareness Month. The manatee is an endangered species.
What I discovered is that the Florida Wildlife Corridors website is a great resource for journalists who do stories on the environment, wildlife, conservationists and more. It’s a mecca of great information on different topics affecting our environment, especially in Florida.
“The Florida Wildlife Corridor is a conservation advocacy organization focused on connecting, protecting and restoring corridors of conserved lands and waters essential for the survival of Florida’s diverse wildlife. The organization showcases the need to protect the missing links in the Corridor, preserve Florida’s waters, and sustain working lands and rural economies from the Everglades to Georgia and Alabama. A dedicated statewide Corridor will benefit wildlife, watersheds and people for generations to come. ”
JANUARY 2015 EXPEDITION
The organization will start a new expedition on January 10, 2015. Here’s more from its website:
“We will highlight stories of ecological importance, from Longleaf Pine restoration and the health of the Gulf fishery to the survival of the Florida black bear – expanding the statewide corridor vision west to Alabama.”
When I saw Dan Thorn‘s videos on YouTube, I thought this guy likes to have fun. The WVNS-TV news anchor doesn’t sit around looking through his scripts during a commercial break, he cuts loose. He can dance and lip sync at the same time.
Who says news people are always serious. Not Thorn who has a lot of personality.
His co-anchor is more on the serious side, but he even gets her to crack a smile.
He even made CNN for his dancing.
Can you imagine Anderson Cooper, Matt Lauer or even Scott Pelley doing this? Yeah, I didn’t think so. I can’t wait to Thorn’s next video. Stay tuned.
Can you guess how many eligible Latino voters in Texas did not vote in the 2012 elections? 61%
I was surprised by that percentage too. Close to 4 million Latinos were eligible to vote in Texas, but 61 percent chose not too. That was 2012, but now how do you get them out for the midterm elections?
Everyone knows Texas Latino voters could make a huge difference in many midterm election races if they show up to cast their ballot. But that’s the challenge, getting them to the voting booths.
To get some answers on voter education and motivating Texas Latinos to vote, I talked to the Texas Organizing Project and Civil Rights leader, Dolores Huerta who was in North Texas to make her push for early voting. Here’s my story for News Taco “For Texas Latinos, Voting Rights is Voter Education.”
If you don’t vote you can’t complain. If you didn’t early vote, don’t forget to vote on November 4, 2014.
RESOURCES: MIDTERM ELECTIONS IN TEXAS
Get ready to get involved in the news!
Tuesday is National News Engagement Day. You don’t have to be a reporter to be part of this event. It’s the brainchild of AEJMC; a nonprofit, educational association of journalism and mass communication educators, students and media professionals.
Although the public has easy access 24/7 to news through the internet or smartphones, studies show that news is not a priority in the lives of many. I don’t know how many people tell me “I don’t watch the news, it’s too depressing.” And while many young people may have their heads buried in their phones, that doesn’t mean they are reading the news. A Pew Research Center survey revealed that 29% of young adults are “newsless.”
AEJMC wants to get the ball rolling and the conversation started about any news on October 7th. I think it’s a brilliant idea. Think about it? News touches all our lives. Whether we are learning the latest facts about Ebola or even something more light-hearted story such as George Clooney getting married.
News can inspire, educate, empower and inform. One more thing I have to share. The more you care about the news, the more journalists have job security. I’m not in the news business to get rich, but I love being a reporter. I enjoy being the messenger.
Now get involved. Tuesday, October 7, I am asking all of you to read, watch, like, tweet, post, listen, comment and talk about the news on this day. Use the #NewsEngagementDay. Here’s what I posted just now on Instagram.
Oct. 7 Nat’l #NewsEngagementDay How will you get involved?
If you post an Instagram, I will share it on my blog and social media pages. Here are some ideas. Take a photo of yourself or someone else watching the news, or maybe someone you caught reading the newspaper at the park. Let’s get involved.
A big thank you to AEJMC for a great idea. I know it will be a huge success!
Imagine going to the store to buy clothes for your kids when you see a t-shirt in the boy’s department that reads ‘It’s not rape, It’s a snuggle with a struggle.’ Writer Karen Kunawicz says that’s what happened to her.
Kunawicz was shopping at the SM Supermall in the Philippines. She was so disgusted she took a photo of the t-shirt and posted it on her Facebook page on Sept. 22, and then it went viral. I don’t know if the t-shirts have made it to any stores in the U.S., but the fact that such a piece of clothing exists is unbelievable.
The issue got the attention of the head honchos at the SM Corporate offices in Manila. They pulled the t-shirt off the shelves and issued a statement. Company officials did not apologize, but said “We do not tolerate such action. SM does not support such irresponsible and malicious acts that mock important and sensitive social issues….”
I’ve covered dozens of rape stories as a reporter. I’ve been in several courtrooms when the victims had to face their attackers. I know many women and children today who live with the terrible experience of being sexually assaulted.
Did you know that one in 5 women in the U.S. have been raped, and 78 percent of female rape victims were first raped before they were 25-years-old? Those are the facts from the Centers for Disease Control. Also, 2 percent of men have been sexually assaulted.
Now that the SM Corporate bosses have removed the nasty t-shirts from their stores, I hope they replace the t-shirts with ones with strong messages that bring awareness to the issue. How about ones that read “No means No” or “This is NOT asking For It.”
It’s a start, don’t you think?
If reporter Charlo Greene wanted her video to go viral. Mission accomplished!
So far her video posted by the Alaska Dispatch has close to 8 million hits and counting. If Greene wanted her name to be mentioned on national TV talk shows. She accomplished that too. Wendy Williams, The View, Fox News are just a few who rolled Greene’s video.
The KTVA-TV reporter in Alaska quit her job Sunday night while she was on-air. Not only did she shock her viewers with “F#@k it, I quit!”, but she also let everyone know she’s the owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, and she plans to help legalize pot in Alaska.
Greene told viewers “Now, everything you’ve heard is why I, the actual owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, will be dedicating all of my energy toward fighting for freedom and fairness, which begins with legalizing marijuana here in Alaska…”
Greene also told Vice.com that she bought a business license for her cannabis club in April 2014. I noticed that around that time she was doing five-part series for KTVA-TV on examining marijuana legalization in Colorado, Washington, and Alaska.
OK interesting career change.
Lets be honest, we have all thought once in our careers of doing what Greene did…you know go out big. Some are calling Greene brave and bold, and of course her critics think she’s gone off the deep end. BBob70 posted on YouTube “Publicity stunt of a pot fan. This woman is no hero.”
Her supporters like Kross-Slash777 on YouTube shared “I can’t believe how many people are bad mouthing her. I love this chick honestly lol who else has the guts to do what she did?”
THANKS FOR LEAVNG THE NEWS BUSINESS
Greene has only been a TV reporter about three years. She graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2011. I often go to that university to speak to students majoring in journalism. It’s a great school with a good program and excellent professors. It’s too bad Greene didn’t think for one minute that her alma mater would be brought into her self-created-drama.
As a veteran reporter, I’m glad Greene has taken herself out of the news business. We need people who care about journalism, not self-promotion. Remember our job is about giving the news not becoming the news.
Maybe she really is on a mission to legalize pot. Someone has to do it.
But Sunday night Greene proved three things: She is about promoting herself, promoting her new business and the hell with anyone else who gets in her way.
It was unfair and unprofessional that she humiliated the weekend anchor. It was unfair to the producer who today may be questioned “how did you let this happen?” And it was unfair to her KTVA news director who was left to clean up Greene’s on-air mess.
GREENE’S EXIT HURT WOMEN OF COLOR IN JOURNALISM
Charlo Greene’s actions were also unfair to women of color in journalism. Greene hurt us too.
I know some of you don’t want to go there, but minority women do not have it easy in the news business. The facts are in this report by the Women’s Media Center on The Status of Women in the U.S. Media 2014. Not only do we have to break through a glass ceiling, but we also have to punch through a brick wall to mark our place and succeed in news.
Women of color in news have to overcome stereotypes that unfairly label Latinas, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Native Americans. You can’t imagine how many minority women I have seen come and go in my 33 years in this career.
I wish Greene would have thought for one second of all the minority women in journalism who have fought for decades to create equal opportunities, build a strong voice, and secure our place in the news business. I’m one of those women, and we continue fighting today for our place in newsrooms around the country. In many cases we sacrifice our own jobs to be heard.
I don’t know Charlo Greene personally, but maybe she didn’t have it easy breaking into broadcast journalism. Think about it. She had to leave her Texas roots and travel all the way to Alaska to get a job. She was one of the fortunate UT-Arlington graduates who had a door opened by a news director in Alaska. An opportunity that many women of color today wished they had been offered.
So to you Charlo Greene, may you finally find happiness pushing your pot platform, pushing to become famous and pushing to be noticed. Enjoy your 15 minutes of…
Can someone fill in the blank?
Apollos Hester is not just any high school football player. This Texas teenager has a future as a motivational speaker.
Apollos was pumped up after Friday night’s football game when his team, East View Patriots beat the opposing team 42-41. In a post-game interview he told reporter, Lauren Mickler that his team started slow, but they knew they were going to finish fast.
Apollos didn’t stop there, he spoke from the heart saying “it’s an awesome feeling when you know you’re truly going to be successful.”
Watch the video, and get inspired.
Maybe I’ll send this video clip to a few news managers who could learn a thing or two about motivating their news team.
I predict you’ll be seeing a lot of Apollos Hester in the coming days on talk shows and morning shows. Well that’s if it doesn’t interfere with his football schedule.
Nice job Apollos and thanks for reminding us we can all be a success!
CNN’s Lisa DeJardins lost her job on Capitol Hill. The cable network decided to eliminate her position. Was she bitter? Was she angry?
DeJardins was classy in her goodbye video and even took a few sweet jabs saying “I’m sorry that CNN has decided to eliminate my reporter position on the Hill and cut back on congressional coverage. Of course, I’m also sorry that Congress is such a complete mess right now, but maybe that means that we should watch them more closely.”
It can’t be easy losing such a prestigious job in D.C. DeJardins hasn’t been the only one at CNN to go out the door. She even took a closer look at a pattern in the goodbye emails from her former colleagues.
DeJardins’ video departure is not only classy but funny. Here’s hoping someone else will offer her a job.
As expected, her YouTube video has brought out the CNN critics. The classy correspondent continues to keep it classy even in her responses.
Good luck Lisa!
Journalism conventions are where you can find new jobs, mentors, and workshops to help your professional development. They are also a great place to meet new friends.
But to get the most out of a journalism convention, YOU have to get involved and be active. Basically put yourself out there and not sink into the wall. Whether you’re a student or a veteran journalist, every convention counts.
I’ve put together a list of tips that I hope will help you make your next convention a huge success. Thank you to my friends on Facebook, most of them journalists who shared their advice. I have edited a few to get to the point. Feel free to print out this blog and take it with you to the next journalism convention.
ADVICE FROM THE PROFESSIONALS
*Make it a goal to meet at least 5 new people each day and get their business cards. – Vicki Adame
*Say hello to each person you encounter. – Zamna Avila
*Network, don’t stalk and become annoying. – Mary Benton
*Don’t stay silent if you’re attending a workshop at the convention. Ask questions. The presenters have made time to be there. So make time to learn something new. – Shelly Conlon
*With an open mind, learn as much as you can from as many people as you can:) – Kim Pewitt-Jones
*My tips are all about business cards: Bring business cards but don’t hand them out like candy to literally every person you encounter. I often print new cards with my social media info on them for conferences where people are more likely to want to be following you online on different platforms. (Most corporate cards don’t have your social info on it, so I bring those but hardly pass them out.) Try to have an actual conversation with someone and then give your card. Don’t just shove cards in someone’s hands if it doesn’t make sense. On the back of every business card you collect, be sure to write what you talked about with that person and where you met/what you might want to follow-up with them about. And finally: DON’T use business cards as a way to add people to newsletters without their consent—it’s bad etiquette and considered a spammy practice that no one appreciates and that can actually get you in trouble. DO use business cards to create useful lists for yourself on social media—such as a Twitter list (public or private) of all the people you met at the convention so you can see them in a separate stream in your TweetDeck or HootSuite (or whatever you use). – Maura Hernandez
*Look professional, look people in the eye, firm handshake, smile, make it easy for recruiters to look at your work. Don’t just give people a link to your website, leave them with something. – YvonneLatty
*Business dress. I put everything on a portable thumb drive, 2gigs are cheap and hold stories well as they also hold resumes and references. – Brian Karem
*Nice jacket and slacks. I agree with Brian on the thumb drive. Make sure you keep all your conversations professional, positive, & intentional! – John Sparks
*Think business casual. No tie necessary. I wouldn’t do jeans. Suit with no tie or jacket and slacks are fine. – Gio Benitiz
*If you’re looking for a job – dress like it. – Miguel Almaguer
*Take full advantage of everything the convention offers,especially the networking. Comport yourself with thought to the image you’re projecting – you need know who’s looking. Whatever you do, don’t abuse the free booze. Don’t get stupid drunk, your peers have long memories! Have a wonderful time. – Ernest Gurule
*Take resumes in paper form AND on a pdf on a thumb drive. Some news managers will download it right then and there. Business cards! Yes, they still like them. And ladies, leave the skirts up to your behind and tops showing all “the girls” for the evening events. If you must wear them. During the day, look polished and professional and yes comfortable. Leave the “clubbing” attire for the club not job interview or daytime networking. Last year I saw a lot of cleavage. — me, Rebecca Aguilar
*Leave the hoochie stomper heels at home – Paula Gonzalez
*Comfortable but professional looking shoes and outfits because you are going to walk a lot, and don’t forget a charger for all your devices. – Luz Gray
*Don’t be shy. You’re not shy while doing your job so why are you shy in a social situation? Make yourself walk up to a stranger. Introduce yourself and make conversation for at least 5 minutes. – Manny Ramos
*Do not interrupt others people’s conversations, Girls do not wear clothes that you can barely move in…You need to sell yourself if you are doing an interview, however you don’t want to sound like a salesperson. If you have any social media please make sure the pictures are descent before adding some professionals to your social media.. Have an email address that conveys your name so that the recipient knows exactly who’s sending the email to… Never use email addresses (perhaps remnants of your grade-school days) that are not appropriate for use in the workplace, such as “firstname.lastname@example.org…” or “email@example.com – Astrid Rivera
*Make it easy for recruiters to see your work.Don’t rely on WiFi in the Expo Hall, make sure you have a thumb drive with all your clips, videos and resumes.I like to be dressed up in suit and tie on the first day, because that is a great first impression.On the second day I’m business casual, then dressed to the nines for the Gran Baile. – Sergio Quintana
*DON’T party too much. DO network, network, network! Oh and did I mention … Network! – Zayda Rivera
*I would say scan the layout of the job fair and then make your connections. You don’t want to look lost. Have your stuff ready. Be courteous, nice and also have something to say about your work. Go to the panels or seminars. Sometimes you get to know “people of power” in those gatherings, rather than at the booth. Bring your iPad and send a thank you note that very same night. And yes, remember that what happens in San Antonio, most likely won’t stay in San Antonio, so.. have a good time. You don’t want to be the beginning of something like this: “Do you remember, what was it, Houston or Fort Worth, when…so and so did…this ..”Jacket and slacks like Gio Benitez suggests. – Sal Morales
*Brush up your resume….less is more when the clock is ticking. – Hugo Balta (more Three Tips for a Better Resume)
*If you are speaking, Keep It Simple. This is a situation where it is better to receive than to give. – Eddie Griffin
LEAVE A CONVENTION READY TO TAKE ON THE WORLD
Even though I have been a reporter for more than three decades, I have never stopped going to conventions. Why? Because you never know when your professional life will change overnight. You never know when you might be laid off or let go. I’ve been there, and thanks to my friends I have made at past conventions, I have never been without work. My friends came through for me in time of need.
Conventions have nourished my professional life. Not only have I gotten new jobs, but have also been offered speaking engagements, invites to be a panelist or moderator, and have built my “journalism brand.” Journalism conventions have also helped me build life long friendships with people who I respect and admire.
Now go out and sign up for the next convention, have fun and build on your career. Good luck!
Fox News and NPPA are bringing their expertise to the NAHJ convention next week. They will be holding a clinic and boot camp for those registered.
Fox News is offering an on-air clinic. Learn some of the best tips in the broadcast business from Fox News professionals. Sign up to get a one-on-one session. Here’s the link–make your appointment now. http://foxnewsinsider.polldaddy.com/s/fox-news-on-air-career-clinic
NPPA is offering a photojournalism boot camp. Learn how to use photos,video and audio to produce great multimedia projects. Get there early on Thursday, August 7th. Your NAHJ convention registration will cover the cost of this workshop for you.
In journalism you constantly have to grow and that means watching and learning from the best. For veterans in the business, a refresher course is always a good thing.
See you at the convention. Don’t forget you can still register in person. For more on our convention visit NAHJConvention.org
NAHJ VP of Online
I just spent 14 days in Europe. My husband and I saved up for this trip for 10 years. Thanks to credit card points we had collected we were able to take our son on the trip.
Before I went to Europe I asked for tips from my friends on places to see in Paris, Venice, Rome, and London. I got some awesome advice. I will keep the list forever.
I also got a lot of warnings about pick pockets in Italy, and rude people in France who would refuse to speak in English, and cab driver who would jack up the prices.
I went to Europe with an open mind and heart.
The people in France were charming and kind. I must have had the “pick pocket” repellant on because they did not approach us in Italy. One cab driver outside the Vatican did not have a meter, but he was fair when he took us to our hotel.
My advice, don’t walk around looking like a “paranoid wanna-a-be victim.” Whether I’m in the U.S. or a foreign country, I’m always aware of my surroundings but I also enjoy myself.
When I’m out discovering, I don’t bury my face in my cellphone. I don’t walk around looking down at my feet. I walk like I own it. My body language says “I belong here.” I also smile at people. Sometimes they smile back and sometimes they don’t. But at least I look like I enjoy life.
I met a lot of Europeans and Americans during my vacation. Most times I would start the conversation. Everywhere I went I met people from Texas and right from my backyard in Dallas.
I’ll be sharing my experience in Europe in the coming days and weeks. And most of you know me, I do everything on a budget.
By now everyone knows that Michael Sam is the first openly gay player drafted to the NFL.But his reaction – kissing his boyfriend after being drafted by the St. Louis Rams had the women on Dallas morning show The Broadcast in a battle of words on Monday.
Co-host Amy Kushnir thought the ESPN segment was not appropriate for children and co-host Suzie Humphreys thought the affection was an “exhibition.” The other two co-hosts defending Sam’s kiss on “live” television would not back off.
Here are my Instagram highlights from the show. These women are not journalists, they just get paid to give their opinions between cooking segments and fashion shows. At least they are being honest.
DALLAS TV HOST AMY KUSHNIR “NOT SURE IT SETS A GOOD EXAMPLE”
TV CO-HOST UPSET KIDS SAW THE KISS
TV CO-HOST “I’M NOT BASHING ON GAYS”
TV CO-HOST SUZIE HUMPHREYS DOESN’T WANT TO SEE “EXHIBITIONIST”
CO-HOST SAYS “I DON’T WANT TO SEE THAT EITHER”
I was on a show The Texas Daily earlier this year and it was produced in the same studio as The Broadcast. I know a few of the people behind the scenes on The Broadcast are gay. I kept wondering what were they thinking as these women stood their ground.
Dallas TV critic, Uncle Barky has reported the show struggles in the ratings on a good day it can get about 400 viewers.
NEWS STORIES: MICHAEL SAM
Washington Post: Showing Michael Sam kiss was not up for debate at ESPN, NFL Network http://wapo.st/1oIBM8F
Huffington Post: Talking to your kids about Michael Sam shouldn’t be hard at all http://huff.to/1jTMIzz
Rolling Stone: Michael Sam made history as the first openly gay player drafted; now comes the hard part: http://rol.st/1nB8Eml
Today is the birthday of Cesar Chavez. Most Latinos I meet know the Chavez legacy, but it’s amazing how many non-Latinos I meet who don’t know anything about this labor leader.
I was fortunate to meet him when I was a child and then again as a reporter in Phoenix, Arizona. When he died in 1993, I was put on the story too. At the time I was working in Los Angeles at KNBC-TV.
Chavez inspired my parents in the 1960’s when they fought for union rights, equal rights and the rights of migrant workers in Ohio.
Here’s a short documentary on Cesar Chavez. A man who committed his life to improve the lives of others.
More facts on Cesar Chavez on Biography/Chavez
Many of you know that a few months ago I joined the TV show, The Texas Daily. Tuesday I got the news that station bosses cancelled the Dallas program. Friday they will tape the last show.
That’s the TV business – here today, gone tomorrow. You just have to roll with the changes.
When I joined The Texas Daily I thought it was one of the most unique television concepts in the Dallas/Fort Worth market. Finally a news-discussion program aimed at the baby boomer/generation X audiences.
The show had former journalists and current reporters like myself on to give their opinions and thoughts on “hot topics” trending locally and around the country. We discussed many stories that were usually given a minute or less on the evening news on other local stations.
RATINGS DECIDE EVERYTHING
The Texas Daily started 18 months ago and had gone through a few transitions. It just never caught on. Station managers have decided to concentrate on other programs on KTXD and future programs. Read more details on Uncle Barky’s blog.
Today viewers have too many choices on television. If you don’t grab their attention in the first few months after the launch of a show – it’s an uphill battle.
Even though I joined The Texas Daily at the tail end, I’m glad that I was part of an interesting television experiment. I thought the station did an excellent job of putting together a team of former reporters and anchors who had worked before at other local stations. They had experience and credibility.
DIVERSE VOICES COUNT
The station also made sure the on-air talent was diverse on The Texas Daily. African-American’s and Hispanics were part of the show. The team reflected the diversity in Dallas/Fort Worth.
I have to admit, when I applied for the job I told the General Manager that I thought the show lacked the perspective of a Hispanic woman. The Texas Daily had been syndicated in many Texas TV markets with growing Hispanic populations, and I thought it was important that we had representation at the table. Maybe that got me a spot at the news desk. I don’t know. I am thankful I was able to give my views as a journalist and a Latina.
OK on to the next opportunity. Thanks for the memories KTXD-TV. It was a fun ride!
You have to give the marketing department at Spirit Airlines points for creativity. They’re not about to let a juicy scandal get by them, especially if it involves Justin Beiber.
I got an email from Spirit Airlines today about some special deals. It got my attention with “JustIn time” and “before you get egg on your face.”
Smart marketing? Definitely.
Today a student, a journalism major sent me a link to an internship being offered by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). Full disclosure, I’m a Vice President with the SPJ Fort Worth Chapter.
I love this description for this internship. I don’t know who wrote it, but I appreciate the honesty.
Here’s what SPJ wrote under “What we’re looking for.”
— Someone who is so organized, they know the birthdays and anniversaries of all their relatives.
— Someone who is a whiz on social media, has experience with marketing and is capable of sharing information in ways that make people listen.
— Someone who can jump from task to task with cat-like nimbleness.
— Someone who knows stuff about journalism, even a little.
— Someone who isn’t an ass and gets along with just about anyone.
— Someone who asks a lot of questions, but knows when to shut up and get to work.
— Someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously.
— Someone familiar with AP Style.
— Someone who cares deeply about the quality of their work.
— Someone who isn’t a wimp.
I want to work with the person who wrote the description. Clever, honest and to the point. Now the applicant will know what SPJ really needs in an intern.
If you’re interested in this internship follow this link and apply : Communications Postgraduate Internship
The deadline is January 29. Good luck!
I’m writing this blog today, because I have a friend who is going through a challenging time. My friend is a reporter.
People expect us reporters to be PERFECT. We do the best we can to not make mistakes. We work hard even when we are juggling multiple assignments and the boss is thinking of adding one more.
So with that said…
Don’t run away from co-workers or friends who are going through a challenging time, especially if it happens at work. Move towards them.
No matter the situation, always be the one who lends a word of comfort and hope. Keeping silent is not a good thing. Put yourself in that person’s place. Here’s hoping my friend, the reporter gets out of a slump.
I hope Brooke Graham of KUTV in Utah is doing fine. I saw her video of her passing out during an interview and thought this woman is a trooper. She actually passed out and then came to and kept interviewing a man on skis.
Her video of course went viral. Brooke said in her blog that she is known for passing out when she’s in high altitudes and cold temperatures. She also added…
“I could feel myself getting light headed and tried to warn the producer that I was sick. After I went down I sat up and had no idea how long I had been out but saw the camera pointed at my face and decided to keep on talking!”
Anchoring 102, anchors don’t laugh at your reporter especially when they faint. Those two anchors at Brooke’s station looked as compassionate as a tree when the camera cutaway to them laughing. They could have at least asked Brooke if she was ok or taken control and said “Brooke we’re going to make sure you’re ok” and then cut to a commercial break.
Brooke’s fainting spell landed her on national television, CNN and CBS to name a few. She and her twin sister are feature reporters at KUTV. They’re known for testing products and talk fashion on their blog.
Brooke you’re definitely one brave reporter. But take care of yourself first, TV always comes second.
The Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is breaking new ground in the 2014 contest area. This year the board voted and approved two new categories in the First Amendment Awards. Two Spanish-language categories have been added: Spanish-language General News and Spanish-language Investigative
Full disclosure, I’m the Vice President of Membership and a social media contributor for the chapter.
No one in the past had ever suggested to the board to add Spanish-language categories. This year I pitched the idea to our president Kim Pewitt Jones and VP of Awards, Tracy Everbach. They welcomed the suggestions with open arms and so did the rest of the board.
We have a huge Spanish-language media presence in North Texas with Telemundo 39, Univision 23, Al Dia and La Estrella newspapers. And then when you check across the state there are plenty of other Spanish-language media. Locally, Spanish-language news teams have done great investigative stories. They’ve also had exclusive news reports, often beating English language media.
So a big thank you to the SPJ Fort Worth board members for adding the new categories in the First Amendment awards. Now my hope is that other SPJ Chapters and the National organization can follow our lead.
TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA MEDIA CALL FOR ENTRIES
The First Amendment awards competition recognizes work that defends the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution, furthers the people’s right to know how governments and businesses affect their lives, and champions the powerless and disadvantaged
Who may enter - Broadcast and print/online journalists in Texas or Oklahoma or whose work is used by news organizations in those states
FEES • $35 professional entry, $15 student entry
Deadline to enter – Jan. 15, 2014
For more information and to enter your work, follow this link: http://www.spjfw.org/pages/4awards.html
The awards will be given out at our awards/scholarship banquet in April. This year our keynote speaker is WFAA-TV’s Brett Shipp. He’s a multiple award winner and one of the best investigative reporters in the country.
For more information on scholarships follow this link: Scholarship applications, deadline is January 31st.
Good luck to everyone who enters!
There’s nothing like a marriage proposal that will make you tear up, and I don’t even know this couple. But a cheerleader for the Chicago Bulls will never forget the moment when she went from cheering on the basketball court to facing her future husband in front of thousands of Bulls fans. Get your tissues out!
News anchors eating vomit, sports anchors being out done by wild fans, and x-rated surprises! Those are actually things that have happened on “live television.”
News consultants beat into the heads of TV news managers that the audience wants to see us reporters live, live, live! That’s why when it’s snowing outside, we’re standing on an icy road telling you “It’s snowing outside.” When it’s hot outside, that’s why we’re locked in a car “live” as the heat rises and we’re almost passing out. Ok I’m exaggerating a bit.
But sometimes things can get really weird. These “live surprises” will make you laugh.
Hire these rappers! That’s what I would say to every college and university president in the U.S.
Someone posted this video on my Facebook page. It was produced by students at the University of North Texas in Denton. The UNT Rap Anthem- (Official Unofficial) is catchy and clever.
UNT should hire these marketing geniuses. What a great way to recruit new students to the school.
Congrats to the producers: Steve Meehin, Desmond Thomas, & Caleb Ward and the rest of your UNT team.
Every time I drive by a cemetery, I think of the people who were buried there. Did they live a good life? Did they accomplish everything they wanted before they left this earth? Were there any regrets?
I ran across a blog from 2011 written by a nurse that revealed the top 5 regrets people make on their deathbed. After looking at the list, I felt that I was on the right track of no regrets.
Here are the 5 regrets the nurse revealed:
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
When I look at the list I think I’m doing OK. I’ve always believed in being myself and not trying to “keep up with the Kardashians.” My parents taught me to be an independent person; to choose what I wanted to become in life and choose the career that would make me happy. My parents were about follow your passion and not the money.
I was also taught not to fear speaking up even if sometimes it was not the popular thing to say. I know many people who hold everything in, because they’re afraid of getting fired, not being liked or fear criticism. I couldn’t live like that and be happy.
I’ve always been good about keeping in touch with friends from my elementary and high school days. I’ve also kept in touch with college friends and many friends I made along the way in my career. And with Facebook, you really don’t have an excuse not to keep in touch.
One of the best things that happened to me was getting fired from my job in Dallas. Ok I didn’t agree with the lame reason, but that’s another blog. But getting fired gives you a big reality check on your life. I didn’t realize until that happened that my life was 24/7 news. Thank God I stopped for a moment to have a kid. That decision is another blog.
I used to work on vacation. I know–crazy! If a source called me with a story, I would immediately call in to the bosses. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a reporter, but when you put your entire heart and soul in one job–well you’re bound to miss other things in life.
Being fired is FREEDOM. Remember that if it happens to you. Today I spend time with my family, friends, and volunteer work. Being a freelance reporter may not help me buy Gucci shoes or a trip around the world, but right now I have no regrets.
I think there is one regret missing from the list. I think people regret not building a spiritual relationship with God. After 14 years working as a reporter, getting fired allowed me to go to church on Sundays.
Spiritual nourishment is important no matter what religion you follow. Sometimes that’s all you need to make you happy.
Now go out and live your life YOUR way and with no regrets.
My inspiration of the week comes from 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai. She has to be one of the bravest girls on the planet.
She’s the Pakistani activist who survived being shot by the Taliban. The Taliban targeted her because Malala has been outspoken about the need for education for girls in her homeland.
This past week she was awarded the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Malala was the youngest person nominated for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize. She’s also the author of I am Malala.
I saw many interviews with her this week while she visited the U.S., but I thought Jon Stewart did one of the best interviews. Though the topic was serious, every once in a while Stewart got a laugh out of Malala. He told her “Nothing feels better than making you laugh.”
More sources: Malala Fund
I told you in my last blog that I was hoping someone would see Marina Shifrin’s “I Quit” video and see her creativity and courage. Well Queen Latifah noticed this young video producer’s talents and invited her on her talk show.
Marina’s video has surpassed 12 million views on YouTube as of October 3rd. Just in case you’re not one of the millions who has seen it—it’s Marina quitting her job on camera as she dances to a Kanye West song.
Today, Marina told Queen Latifah that she has no regrets about the video “No sometimes I think you need to forcefully close one door, in order for the other to open a little bit easier.”
By the end of the segment, Queen Latifah asked Marina “So are you looking for a job?”
Marina “Yeah, do you, are you hiring?”
Latifah “I like to be surrounded by cool,creative and interesting people.”
Queen Latifah created a position for a producer of digital content, and offered it to Marina. She thought Latifah was joking.
It was no joke.
Marina Shifrin is a video producer. A few days ago she turned the camera on herself and decided to send a message to her boss in a video she posted on YouTube. I QUIT!
As I write this blog she is close to 10 million views on YouTube. And from many of the comments on YouTube and on her blog—she hit a nerve. People don’t feel appreciated or inspired at work.
Marina set out to be a journalist six years ago when she graduated from the University of Missouri which has a great journalism program. But after 6 years–she’s done. She talks about it in her blog.
Marina quit her job at an animation company in Taiwan where she was producing news videos. On her own video she posted “For almost two years I’ve sacrificed my relationships, time and energy for this job.”
What do you think? Would you quit in a video?
Marina pointed out in her video “And my boss only cares about the quantity and how many views each video gets.”
Well her former boss was not going to let Marina get all the attention. A few days after she posted her “I Quit” video he posted his own video response.
By the looks of likes, dislikes and comments; most people like what Marina has done, but her former boss isn’t getting much love.
I’ve already heard talk show hosts, journalists, and people on Facebook say Marina’s video is going to hurt her. Come on–we’ve all felt like her at least once in our careers.
I’m going to be more positive.
I think a good news boss out there is going to see this woman for her creativity and courage, and hire her. I hope Marina will find a new job where she can write from her heart and stay in the field of journalism.
Marina, journalism is like a marriage. Sometimes you have to get a divorce to find the right soulmate. Good luck!
Before today I had never heard of Dylan Garity or ” The National Poetry Slam.”
But one video now has me wanting to meet him. Garity through is poetry has shined the light on ESL (English as a second language) teachers and students.
Garity’s sister teaches ESL to children in Boston who can’t speak English. By the sounds of his poem she’s frustrated with the rules and regulations that are getting in the way of educating the ESL students. But his poem also points out the weaknesses of ESL. Is it failing our kids?
Here’s Garity’s “Rigged Game” poem—in his words.
When I heard that WXYZ-TV in Detroit recently had a reunion for former and current news employees, I thought what a great idea. I’ve worked at seven television stations. Dozens of my coworkers moved on to other TV stations or got out of the business all together.
I’ve always wondered what happened to many of my old TV friends. Four women planned the WXYZ reunion and 300 former employees showed up. What a great way to reconnect and share memories.
I may have to steal the idea. Check out the event>>reunion covered by WXYZ.
Latinos have made great contributions in music. One of my favorite singers is Ruben Blades.
Blades is a Panamanian salsa singer, songwriter, actor, and Latin jazz musician. He attended Harvard Law school and is also an activist.
As songwriter, Blades brought the lyrical sophistication of Central American nueva canción and Cuban nueva trova as well as experimental tempos and politically inspired Nuyorican salsa to his music. (Wikipedia info)
Enjoy his music.
I was 10-year-old when President Lyndon B. Johnson designated September as Hispanic Heritage Month. President Reagan would later expand the honor to four weeks from September 15-October 15.
I appreciate that our country honors what Hispanics/Latinos have contributed to the U.S. in the past and in the present. As a Mexican-American, I celebrate my Hispanic/Latino heritage every day.
You don’t have to be Hispanic to learn more about us.
This month we should all open our hearts and minds as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. The more we learn about each other the better foundation we have in our country and the more we chip away at the problem of racism.
When Oprah speaks, people listen, well that is until she was on Chicago’s WGN-TV. I love how this morning anchor team handled an awkward but funny situation.
Check out this promotion I got from Spirit Airlines in my email on Wednesday afternoon. You have to hand it to the marketing department at Spirit, they figured out a way to take advantage of Anthony Weiner’s sexting controversy.
As you may recall, the former U.S. Congressman and current New York City mayoral candidate admits he sent lewd photos and texts to a woman who told her story to TheDirty.com.
We’ll have to see how this “Weiner Rises Again” special works out for Spirit.
KTVU-TV in the Bay Area can’t take all the blame for their terrible mistake of airing fake names of the Asiana Air pilots as “Ho Lee Fuk” and “Sum Ting Wong.” KTVU apparently called to confirm the list of four names with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). An intern at the agency confirmed the fake names.
After that confirmation the anchor read the names on the noon newscast on July 12, and minutes later apologized for the mistake. On Friday night, NTSB confirmed its mistake in a press release.
The National Transportation Safety Board apologizes for inaccurate and offensive names that were mistakenly confirmed as those of the pilots of Asiana flight 214, which crashed at San Francisco International Airport on July 6.
Earlier today, in response to an inquiry from a media outlet, a summer intern acted outside the scope of his authority when he erroneously confirmed the names of the flight crew on the aircraft.
The NTSB does not release or confirm the names of crew members or people involved in transportation accidents to the media. We work hard to ensure that only appropriate factual information regarding an investigation is released and deeply regret today’s incident.
Appropriate actions will be taken to ensure that such a serious error is not repeated. (More)
On Friday (July 12), KTVU apologized on its social media pages for the mistake, and so did the NTSB.
Then on the evening news, KTVU anchor Frank Somerville apologized to the viewers:
Tonight we want to take a moment to say we are sorry. Earlier today during our noon newscast we misidentified the pilots in the Asiana Airline crash. We made several mistakes when we received this information. First of all, we never read the names out loud, phonetically sounding them out.
Then during our phone call to the NTSB, where the person confirmed the spellings of the of the names, we never asked that person to give us their position within the agency. We heard this person verify the information without questioning who they were, and then we rushed their names on to our noon newscast.
The anchor goes on to read the statement released by the NTSB and then finishes the KTVU apology:
Now even with this serious statement from the NTSB, we want you to know here we accept full responsibility for this mistake. We issued an apology later in the noon newscast. We also apologized on our website, and on our social media sites. That fact is we have a lot of good people here at Channel 2 and on behalf of all of us, I want to tell you that we pride ourselves on getting it right, and having the highest of standards and integrity.
Clearly today that did not happen. We made a mistake. So again from all of us here at KTVU, we can only offer our sincerest apology in this case.
As journalists we can all learn from this horrible and embarrassing situation. For some reason, I don’t think we’ve heard the last about this issue.
Read these names out loud.
Sum Ting Wong. What does that sound like?
Wi Tu Lo. Any ideas?
Ho Lee Fuk. Yep, sounds like what I’m thinking.
Those were the names that a noon anchor reported Friday on KTVU-TV as the names of the pilots involved in the San Francisco plane crash last weekend. Here’s the problem–those are all fake names.
Now check out the video.
My contacts out in the Bay area say that KTVU immediately apologized.
“Earlier in the newscast we gave some names of pilots involved in the Asiana Airlines crash. These names were not accurate despite an NTSB official in Washington confirming them late this morning. We apologize for the error.”
Gawker reports that NTSB Public Affairs Officer Peter Knudson told them NTSB’s policy is to never give out pilot names in these situations. Meanwhile, KTVU’s VP and GM has issued an apology on the station’s website that partly reads:
“Nothing is more important to us than having the highest level of accuracy and integrity, and we are reviewing our procedures to ensure this type of error does not happen again.”
IN MY OPINION
KTVU-TV is a good news station. I have friends who work there now and in the past. Pranks like these are pulled on television and radio stations all the time. Yes, people send in fake information on fake stationary via email and fax, but most of the time it doesn’t make it past the computer or fax machine.
The Fox station has learned an embarrassing lesson. As journalists we have to be on alert all the time and slow down, make those extra phone calls to confirm, confirm, and confirm.
More importantly, read the copy out loud in your head. I’m not sure who did that at KTVU, but something that simple would have helped in this situation.