10-year-old girl has fun with NFL players; her questions leave some speechless

Screenshot: YouTube

Screenshot: YouTube

I see a future reporter in Isabella Day. Check out this cute 10-year-old girl who the NFL brought in as a special correspondent to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Sunday Night Football on NBC.  Isabella had fun with the NFL players, but also had a few questions that left some of them surprised and speechless.

The new season starts September 13.

 

Now we need to send Isabella to a Donald Trump press conference. I wonder how long she would last?

It’s all in fun.

Happy 99th National Park Service! Discover 408 national parks

Today the National Park Service celebrates 99 years. Happy Birthday!

Did you know there are  408 national parks ? I’ve only been to about 25 of them in Arizona, Ohio, Texas, South Dakota, New York, California and Washington D.C.

Visiting Mount Rushmore

Visiting Mount Rushmore in August 2015

 

I have a lot of discovering to do. As I look at the list of parks in every state, I keep thinking I need to see Mother nature’s beauty, and learn about the history behind each park. I can’t wait to explore more. Maybe I need to take a national park tour from one side of the country to the other and Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam and Virgin Islands.  I’ll have to talk my husband into it.

Here are a few photos of National parks I have visited so far. As a reporter I’m curious all the time, and I love taking photo. Enjoy!

 

The Badlands in South Dakota

The Badlands, SD Photo by Rebecca Aguilar

The Badlands, SD
Photo by Rebecca Aguilar

 

 

Montezuma Castle in Arizona

Montezuma Castle Photo by Rebecca Aguilar

Montezuma Castle
Photo by Rebecca Aguilar

 

The Grand Canyon in Arizona

Grand Canyon, AZ Photo by Rebecca Aguilar

Grand Canyon, AZ
Photo by Rebecca Aguilar

 

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington D.C. 

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial Photo by Rebecca Aguilar

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
Photo by Rebecca Aguilar

 

 

Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. 

Lincoln Memorial Photo by Rebecca Aguilar

Lincoln Memorial
Photo by Rebecca Aguilar

 

 

Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Photo by Rebecca Aguilar

Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Photo by Rebecca Aguilar

 

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington D.C. 

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Photo by Rebecca Aguilar

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
Photo by Rebecca Aguilar

 

 

Other Online Resources:

National Park Service website

List of national parks by state – page

The world embraces President Carter who has been diagnosed with cancer

Cartoon by Mike Luckovich

Cartoon by Mike Luckovich

Our 39th President, Jimmy Carter has cancer, and it has spread.  But the 90-year-old plans to fight it with treatment in Atlanta.

Today this cartoon got my attention. Mike Luckovich is the editorial cartoonist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He told CNN on Thursday that he was working on another cartoon when he heard the news about President Carter. “I kept thinking I really want to do something about him, because he’s such an amazing person, and he means a lot to me and to people all over the world, so I just kept thinking what can I do? What can I do? And I just arrived at this cartoon and I ran out to my editor and said listen I have an idea to do on President Carter, he said OK and so I did it…” says Luckovich.

The cartoonist also told CNN that in the past, President Carter had invited him and his family  to meet with him. “It was just an amazing thing. You know there aren’t many people in this world that you can attach the world ‘saintly’ to, but I really think with President Carter you can, because he is such a giving person and throughout his life he has never stopped helping other people.”

Thank you Mike for a wonderful and meaningful cartoon. I agree, President Carter has been about giving back to the world. May our prayers lift him up and comfort him during this time.

 

OTHER IMPORTANT LINKS

Mike Luckovich  Gallery of Cartoons

Atlanta Journal-Constitution website

News story: Plains struggles with news of Jimmy Carter’s Cancer

President Carters statement about his cancer: Statement

Mailman makes wish come true for Utah boy who could not afford books

Books are piling up in the home of Matthew Flores in Sandy, Utah. Thanks to his mailman and the help of strangers around the world, Matthew is getting all kinds of books.

At an age when most kids are hooked on their video games and smartphones, all this 12-year-old loves to do is read. He loves to read anything he can get his hands on including junk mail.

Matthew met his mailman Ron Lynch last week. He told Lynch he couldn’t afford to buy books or get a bus pass to go the local library. Lynch decided to post Matthew’s story on Facebook and his plea for help went viral.

Screenshot: Facebook

Screenshot: Facebook

 

The young boy’s story not only spread on social media, but it also got the attention of local TV station. Here is a story by Local 12 News in Salt Lake City.

 

 

It is Christmas in July for young Matthew Flores. But a big thanks goes to Ron Lynch who took the time to stop during his busy day to listen to a little boy in need.  Here’s is one of Lynch’s latest Facebook updates.

 

Screenshot: Facebook

If you’d like to send Matthew some books, please send them to:

Matthew Flores, ℅ Sandy Post Office, 8850 S 700 e, Sandy, UT 84070

 

54 Twitter photos of Donald Trump’s visit to Laredo, TX

Donald Trump’s was met at the airport in Laredo,TX by dozens of reporters and also protesters. Here are 54 photos taken by the media and Laredo citizens during Trump’s stop in the border city. See the collection of Twitter and Instragram photos: 54 PHOTOS 

Screenshot: Twitter

Screenshot: Twitter

 

Pregnant woman delivers her own baby in the car on the way to the hospital

Lesha PettiJohn of Lake Jackson, TX deserves the Mother of The Year award. She had a 10 pound baby on the way to a birthing center.

Yes, 10 pounds.

Her husband was driving and was able to record the birth with his GoPro. There is nothing revealing or hard to watch. It’s a beautiful moment.

 

 

Congrats to Lesha and her husband. They have two other children at home.

 

34 Years and Counting: Still kicking it in journalism

This month I celebrate 34 years as a reporter. Today I still have the same passion for news that I had when I started in the business in 1981. I didn’t get into journalism to become rich, but I have been given a richness of experiences that money can’t buy.

In the coming weeks I will share more about my 34 year journey so far in news. I’ve been hired and fired. I’ve made a salary so low I could have applied for government help. It’s true. I’ve also made great money in the six figures.

I have had great mentors, and have mentored many who have gotten into the business. I’ve seen many great journalists leave the business because they were discouraged or burned out. I have also seen others continuing to push on in a business that has changed and forced them to work longer hours for less money.

Along the way I have had opportunities to do some amazing stories and meet interesting and courageous people. And yes, I have also interviewed many politicians, entertainers, community leader and criminals.

Journalists are messengers, and that’s what I do.  Real journalists care about the story, not whether they have enough “likes” on their Facebook page. Real journalists are constantly looking for the next story.

I’m proud to be a real journalist and today a freelancer. That means I’m my own boss.

Stay tuned for more.

 

 

#HonorThem: Share a photo of those who you are honoring this #MemorialDay weekend

Who will you be honoring this Memorial Day?  The U.S. Department of Defense has a great idea.

Share it on Twitter. #MemorialDay #HonorThem

The ultimate survivor, my mother

On this Mother’s Day I celebrate the life of my own mother, Rebecca. Every time I speak to groups of women, I always share the story of my mother. A survivor in many ways.

RA_Mom2015

The wonderful artwork of Johannes Stötter

 

Johannes Stötter uses the human body as his canvas.

His work is amazing, surprising, and just beautiful.

Just watch this video “Chameleon” and experience an “aha” moment.

Have a good day!

My “aha” moment, inducted into Napoleon High School’s Hall of Fame

Today I was inducted into the Napoleon High School’s Hall of Fame. Not many people realize that I was raised in the small rural town of Napoleon, Ohio. It now has a population of just over 8,700 residents.

Today was a big “aha” moment for me, because I never thought I would be recognized with such a great honor. I was a “C” average kid, never ran with the “popular” kids, wasn’t involved in any high school extracurricular activities (band, track, cheerleading.)  I went to school, did the best I could and didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do in life.

Now 39 years later, it felt good to be recognized for having a distinguished career in journalism. I’m proof that life has interesting turns and results. I’m very thankful that a plaque with my life story will now hang in the hallway for all the students to see. I hope it will inspire many teenagers to just go for it!

Thanks to Kim Cordes from the NorthWest Signal newspaper for nominating me, and thank you to the NHS Hall of Fame committee for awarding me this wonderful recognition.

I’ll never forget today. Definitely a highlight in my life.

The dancing skeletons and the video that proves love is universal

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.

 

Don’t forget…

Love has no gender
Love has no race
Love has no disability
Love has no age
Love has no religion

ABC News promotes Latinos to weekend anchors and 2016 election team

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.

More information:

ABC News announcement of promotions

Jim Avila biography

Tom Llamas biography 

Cecilia Vega biography

 

 

 

Cedar Hill Police ‘Live in your Moment’ video spoofs Matthew McConaughey’s Lincoln commercial

Photo Courtesy: Screenshot

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.

Rebecca Aguilar

Arlington Police question Queen Elsa during the North Texas Snowfall

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.

 

Courtesy: APD Facebook

Courtesy: APD Facebook

 

Image courtesy: APD Facebook

Image courtesy: APD Facebook

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.

 

The Best 2015 Super Bowl commercials: #LikeAGirl, Lost Dog, Pay with Lovin, #RealStrength

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  

Bruno Mars moved to tears by Dallas High School’s ‘UpTown Funk’ video

YouTube Screenshot

YouTube Screenshot

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.

 

 

2015 will be the year to declutter my life at home, work and on the web

I don’t have a long list of New Year’s resolutions. A list has never worked for me.  I keep it simple and it’ll be that way in 2015.  My aim is to declutter my life at home, at work and on the web. Along the way I hope to get more organized and make my life more simple.

Jerry Seinfeld on the Tonight Show inspired me to get on this declutter project. He recently told the audience that his wife likes to collect everything and he’s the opposite. I’m like his wife. I collect a lot of stuff and am afraid to throw anything away because “I may need it in the future.”

I’m not a hoarder, but its time to get down to the basics and get rid of a bunch of “stuff.”  And I’m not wasting anytime.  I got up early on this first day of 2015, and got to work.

I started by going through more than 100 books on my shelves at home. I got down to about 30 books worth keeping, the rest I plan to donate. I’m not done with my books, but it’s a start.  I have to admit it was rather liberating. I figure if I do a little bit every day, by next year my life should be leaner.

                                                                                

CLEANING HOUSE ON THE WEB

If you’re like me you have hundreds of emails, lots of Facebook friends, and files all over the place on your computer. That’s another place where I plan to declutter my life, which is also connected not only to my personal side but my career as well.

Today I got rid of more than 1,000 emails that I had held on to for a long time. No idea why, but it just happened. I still have more than 3,000 to go and that’s just on one email account.  There was a sense of freedom when I trashed all those email.

It’s time to clean house on my Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts. I need to surround myself in the virtual world with  people who really engage with me, and are not just observing my life as I put it out there on social media. I know some people love to have thousands of followers and friends, but I want more than “numbers.”  So if for some reason you find yourself off my social media, I hope you understand. I probably didn’t hear from you in a while, and I’m sure you won’t miss me.

I will make progress every day as I work to simplify my life. Wish me luck!

 

Dallas Morning News recognizes Cara Mia Theatre’s ‘Zoot Suit’ as one of the top shows in 2014

Photo Courtesy:  Cara Mia Theatre

Photo Courtesy:
Cara Mia Theatre

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’s “kill a cop” video was a big mistake, angered viewers, and hurt journalists

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 

Facebook Screenshot

Facebook Screenshot

 

DECEMBER 22 – WBFF-TV FACEBOOK POST

 

Facebook Screenshots

Facebook Screenshots

 

MY OPINION

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.

 

 

DOJ will not force NY Times reporter James Risen to reveal confidential source

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.

 

 

 

Be thankful every day for everyone who makes a difference in your life

My wonderful husband & son

This year I decided to take the day off from cooking Thanksgiving dinner. We got a great meal at Boston Market, brought it home and enjoyed it together as a family. Since I didn’t have to cook over a hot stove and wash a bunch of dishes, I thought I’d sit down and talk about being thankful.

I’m thankful everyday for the people who have affected my life, past and present. And I make sure I let them know as often as I can.

Thank you to my family, especially my husband John. I would not be the success I am today if it wasn’t for his support, and for always allowing me to just be me. I don’t know how many times I have told him this year “I’m going out-of-town for a meeting” or “Sorry can’t have lunch with you this weekend I have a board meeting.” I’m also thankful to my son, Alex and “Pops” my father-in-law for just being loving people.

I’m thankful for dozens of friends who have my back through thick and thin, especially Bonnie Pardon, Joanna Hernandez, Genny Espinoza, Ann Bacchus, Saul Garza and Pam I. to name a few.

Thank you to board of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. They’re all volunteers who give their time to make NAHJ a stronger and better journalism organization. I’m also a board member and have learned a lot from leaders like President Mekahlo Medina and former president Hugo Balta.

NAHJ board & members

I’m thankful to all the NAHJ members who have been with us through good and challenging times. They are the backbone of the organization. I also appreciate everyone who voted for me to once again lead as VP of Online. Their trust and respect means the world to me.

I’m thankful to the board of the Society of Professional Journalists Fort Worth Chapter. I also serve on this board. Another group of journalists who volunteer their time to keep our business alive. We are a small board, but with the energy of a giant.

I’m thankful to all the journalists around the world who continue to push forward in this challenging business. I’m especially grateful to the journalists who put themselves in harm’s way to get to the truth, to get to the information they know the public needs to know. Whether you are a reporter in a small city or work for a major newspaper; remember our jobs matters, you matter!

The Texas Daily

The Texas Daily

I’m thankful to everyone who has kept me employed as a freelance reporter. From USA Today,  Latina Style magazine to Mercado Bilingue  to name a few.  After years of reporting car wrecks and house fires, now I can pitch stories that I think need to be told. These are stories that are often ignored by mainstream media.

It’s a nice feeling when media companies trust in what you believe are good stories. A big thank you to Phillip Morales at Mercado Bilingue who allows me to write op-ed (opinion pieces.) He realizes the voice of a Latina does matter. Also thank you KTXD-TV for hiring me to be a commentator on “The Texas Daily.” That was a dream job where I was able to freely give my opinion on “hot topics.” I was on there 13 times and nominated for a 2014 Emmy award. I’m very grateful, and sorry it got cancelled.

I’m thankful to the board of the Cara Mia Theatre. I’m fortunate to part of this group of volunteers who believe in keeping Latino theater alive. I’m proud of the work Executive Director, David Lozano. He and his team are making sure our future Latino generations will be exposed to everything from acting to screenwriting. I’m proud of the productions the theater company performs for the public. Coming soon–Zoot Suit! I can’t wait to see it myself.

 

Cara Mia Theatre

Cara Mia Theatre

I’m thankful for all the members of my virtual group “Wise Latinas Linked” on Facebook and LinkedIn. Thank you for coming on board to share your experiences, opinions, challenges, successes and advice. Together we are a powerful force. Together we can make a difference in the world of Latinas who give everyday to make us a better society. We continue being the largest Latina networking group on Facebook and LinkedIn with a combined membership of close to 8,000. Social media rocks!

Laredo High School students

 

Thank you to all the people have invited me to speak to their organization or students. Those who hear my message may think they are learning from me, but as I stand in front of a small or large group of people–I am constantly learning about the wonderful love of mankind. We are here for a purpose, and lets not forget that.

Lastly, I’m very thankful to my mother, Rebecca who has always shown me to have faith in God and everything will fall into place. Mom is never wrong.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Surround yourself with Mother Nature’s beauty through the Florida Wildlife Corridor

Photo courtesy: Florida Wildlife CorridorImagine 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.”

 

 

WVNS-TV News anchor Dan Thorn’s dance moves go viral

Screenshot: YouTube

Screenshot: YouTube

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.

 

 

News Taco: For Texas Latinos, Voting Rights is Voter Education

Photo by Rebecca Aguilar

Photo by Rebecca Aguilar

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

Vote Texas

Texas Organizing Project

 

Do your part on National News Engagement Day,Tuesday, Oct. 7

Photo courtesy: Saul Garza

Photo courtesy: Saul Garza

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.

 

Loading

Oct. 7 Nat’l #NewsEngagementDay How will you get involved?

View on Instagram

 

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!

 

 

 

 

Department Store pulls ‘Snuggle with a Struggle’ T-shirt

Facebook Screenshot: karen Kunawicz

Facebook Screenshot:
karen Kunawicz

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….”

 

Screenshot: Facebook

Screenshot: Facebook

photo courtesy: cafepress.comRAPE IS NEVER A JOKE

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?

 

 

“F#%k it, I quit!” reporter Charlo Greene has her 15 minutes of fame or shame?

Greene on KTVA assignment  Photo courtesy: Facebook

Charlo Greene on KTVA assignment in April
Photo courtesy: Facebook

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: Texas high school football player who will make you feel unstoppable

Screenshot: YouTube

Screenshot: YouTube

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!

 

 

 

 

Lisa DeJardins out at CNN, but she has the last word on video

Screenshot Photo: YouTube

Screenshot Photo: YouTube

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.

Screenshot: YouTube

Screenshot: YouTube

Good luck Lisa!

 
 

Tips from the professionals, get the most out of the next journalism convention

2013 EIJ convention

2013 EIJ convention

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

EIJ Convention Photo by Rebecca Aguilar

EIJ Convention
Photo by Rebecca Aguilar

*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 “diva@gmail.com…” or “babygirl1234@hotmail.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 On-Air Clinic and NPPA Boot Camp at 2014 NAHJ Convention

Photo courtesy:  Saul Garza, Fox 4 News

Photo courtesy:
Saul Garza, Fox 4 News

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

Rebecca Aguilar
NAHJ VP of Online

Travel Europe with an open mind and heart

Visiting the Coliseum

Visiting the Colosseum with my son

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.

 

TV host walks off set during Michael Sam’s “kiss” debate and is invited to Fox News

Screenshot: The Broadcast

Screenshot: The Broadcast

Amy Kushnir’s life changed overnight.  The stay-at-home mom turn TV host became the target of haters on social media this week, but now she’s headed to talk on Fox News.

Tuesday, her Dallas television station posted a video of her walking off the set of her show The Broadcast. Haters started pounding Kushnir and co-host Suzy Humphrey’s viciously on social media.

The controversy actually started on Monday, when the pretty blonde unleashed her disappointment in ESPN’s coverage of Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend after he was drafted into the NFL. Kushnir  and Humphreys verbally duked it out with the other co-hosts about the “kiss.” Here’s Monday’s video- Instagram

 

TUESDAY – ROUND TWO

#AmyKushnir defends her point-of-view on @ESPN coverage #MichaelSam "kiss"

A video posted by Rebecca Aguilar (@msrebeccaaguilar) on

My gut tells me producers were looking for ratings and that’s why they continued discussing Sam on Tuesday. The show needs help to stay on the air. According to Dallas media critic, Unclebarky.com The Broadcast gets on a good day just over 400 viewers.

Tuesday the conversation got louder and louder about Sam’s public affection on TV. Suddenly, Kushnir quietly picked up her papers and the video tells the rest the story…

TV host #AmyKushnir walks off set during heated debate about #MichaelSam "kiss" on #ESPN

A video posted by Rebecca Aguilar (@msrebeccaaguilar) on

Once the video was posted, Gawker.com got it.  Hundreds maybe thousands on social media started attacking Kushnir and Humphrey’s for their views. They were called every ugly name you can think of.  I just find it surprising that KTXD posted the video. They had to go know the haters would surface once they saw the video.

Today Kushnir was not on The Broadcast because she was headed to Fox News to be interviewed by Megan Kelly. Another group of co-hosts will be on Hannity on Fox.

My sources at the KTXD-TV say Kushnir doesn’t have much television experience. Just a few months ago she was a stay-at-home mom who blogged about food.

I’ve watched Kushnir for several months and I must admit she does a decent job on cooking segments and fashion shows.  But her walk of the set proved that she doesn’t have the experience yet to handle controversies, heated debates, and hot tempers.  Hopefully KTXD will give her the training she needs

TELEVISION IS A TOOL TO EDUCATE NOT DISCRIMINATE OR HATE

I’ve been a broadcaster for 32 years. When you’re paid to give your opinion on TV, you have a bigger responsibility to the station and the viewers. The airwaves should always be used to educate and empower, not to discriminate or to hate. Those are also my views on social media.

FYI, I used to work at KTXD-TV on a different television show. I met Amy Kushnir one time and she was very kind and friendly.  I also met Suzie Humphreys and she too was kind, friendly and outspoken.

 

Dallas TV co-hosts upset with ESPN’s coverage of Michael Sam’s draft-day kiss

Photo courtesy: @MichaelSamNFL Twitter

Photo courtesy: @MichaelSamNFL Twitter

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”

Dallas morning show host not happy @ESPN aired #MichaelSams & boyfriend kissing

A video posted by Rebecca Aguilar (@msrebeccaaguilar) on


TV CO-HOST UPSET KIDS SAW THE KISS 

#Dallas morning hosts have heated talk on @ESPN #MichaelSams coverage during #draft. #NFL

A video posted by Rebecca Aguilar (@msrebeccaaguilar) on

TV CO-HOST “I’M NOT BASHING ON GAYS”

#Dallas morning show host says @ESPN "not sure set good example" airing #MichaelSam draft.

A video posted by Rebecca Aguilar (@msrebeccaaguilar) on

TV CO-HOST  SUZIE HUMPHREYS DOESN’T WANT TO SEE “EXHIBITIONIST”

Dallas Morning hosts says doesn't need to see "exhibitionist" @ESPN #MichaelSam #NFL

A video posted by Rebecca Aguilar (@msrebeccaaguilar) on

CO-HOST SAYS “I DON’T WANT TO SEE THAT EITHER” 

#Dallas morning hosts duke it out on @ESPN TV coverage of #MichaelSam kiss #NFL

A video posted by Rebecca Aguilar (@msrebeccaaguilar) on

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

Huffington Post: Talking to your kids about Michael Sam shouldn’t be hard at all

Rolling Stone: Michael Sam made history as the first openly gay player drafted; now comes the hard part:

Happy Birthday Cesar Chavez

Graphic Courtesy: National Museum of American History

Graphic Courtesy: National Museum of American History

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

The Texas Daily fades to black in Dallas

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

Talking "Hot Topics" on The Texas Daily

Talking “Hot Topics” on The Texas Daily

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 

(L-R) John Sparks, me and Jeff Brady

(L-R) John Sparks, me and Jeff Brady

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!

Give us a reason to “like” your Facebook Like page

Everyday someone on Facebook asks me to “like” their Facebook Like page, but the biggest mistake they make is they never tell me why.

Right now there are 672 requests waiting on my Facebook to be “liked.”  They are businesses, reporters, nonprofit organizations, different causes, but not one person who invited me over –told me why I should “like” the page.

What’s in it for me if I “like” the page? A simple reason can help me make a decision.

And once I “like” your page, you need to make sure it’s a two-way conversation. Social media is not just about what you post, but what your followers post on your page is also important.  Many people with “like” pages make the mistake of not engaging with their followers.

COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR FOLLOWERS

If a follower posts a comment on your “like” page, you should respond with at least a thank you for the contribution.  A reaction is a good thing. If a follower stops by your “like” page and asks a question–they deserve a response from you.  Remember they took the time to come to your page.

With millions of people on the web and a billion on Facebook, you have a lot of competition.  Here are my tips on getting people to get through that first step–to “like”your page, and to get followers to stay with you.

  • When you send a request, give the person a real reason to like your page? For example: “Rebecca I hope you like my page, because I think as a reporter you’ll find some good ideas for stories.”
  • Find people to “like” your page who have something in common with you, the product or service you are pitching.  Let’s say you make organic cosmetics. Obviously you want women to know about your product.  Maybe you run a motorcycle shop. Find people who love motorcycles or love road trips on motorcycles. Find a personal connection because those followers will stay loyal and will stay with you.
  • Don’t make your “like” page just about “YOU.”  It’s not about you.  People especially strangers  don’t care how many products you sell. They don’t care to hear every day “Watch my story at 6pm.”  And they definitely don’t want to feel like you’re using them to make money.  No one likes to feel used.  Make it about them.  What’s in it for them? How will your “like” page empower them and better their lives.

So the next time you’re going to ask someone to “like” your page, think about it and tell them why they should join you on Facebook.  Give them  a reason to connect.  FYI, I don’t have a Facebook like page, but that doesn’t mean I won’t have one in the future.

Spirit Airlines gets in on the Justin Beiber “egg throwing” scandal

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.

Spirit Promotions

Spirit Promotions

Love SPJ internship description, very honest, wimps and “a***s” don’t apply

Logo courtesy Facebook

Logo courtesy Facebook

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!

Support your friends and co-workers during challenging times

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.

 

Reporter passes out during live shot, watch what happens next

Photo courtesy: TwinTested

Photo courtesy: TwinTested

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.

 

 

 

SPJ Fort Worth Chapter adds Spanish-language categories to 2014 awards contest

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.

SPJFW Board Meeting

SPJFW Board Meeting

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!

Chicago Bulls cheerleader gets the surprise of her life on the basketball court

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!

 

 

 

 

 

“Live” TV can be one crazy experience

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UNT Rap Anthem more than just one clever and catchy tune

UNT_RAPHire 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.

Awesome video.

Congrats to the producers: Steve Meehin, Desmond Thomas, & Caleb Ward and the rest of your UNT team.

Now is the time to live a life with no regrets

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.

Speaking at KXII-TV

Speaking at KXII-TV

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.

The bravest girl on the planet: 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai

Screenshot: The Daily Show

Screenshot: The Daily Show

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.”

Here’s more:

 

 

More sources: Malala Fund

“I Quit” YouTube video pays off, Queen Latifah offers job to Marina Shifrin

Courtesy: YouTube

Courtesy: YouTube

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.

Congrats Marina!

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