Category Archives: Breaking News

Good tips on what you can take away from the James Comey hearing

Comey_CSpan_500jpg

Screenshot: C-SPAN3

My father taught me at an early age to write down everything: the good, bad and ugly. As I watched James Comey testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I realized the former FBI director was teaching us the importance of documentation on the job. Good notes can never hurt. These are tips I share with everyone I mentor:

  • Keep notes when a manager pulls you in the office for “a talk”. Take notes during the meeting or immediately afterwards. Write down what you talked about, who was present, date and time.
  • Good documentation should include a follow-up email to the manager “Review what we talked about today.” Always follow up with an email.
  • Keep detailed notes on any observation you make at work especially if does not seem right or a coworker is the target: Date, time, witnesses etc.
  • Documentation will come in handy for your annual evaluation. Some managers tend to forget the good but over emphasize the bad.

The rest of the tips at LinkedIn: Take Away 

USA Today takes down tweet comparing United Passenger to Rosa Parks after backlash

The USA Today tweet got my attention. It read “Is United Airlines passenger Dr. Dao an “Asian version of Rosa Parks?”

tweet_USAToday3

As a reporter, I knew they were quoting someone who made that statement.  My relatives who are not journalists thought USA Today was making the comparison between Dr. Dao and civil rights activist Rosa Parks.

It appears they were not the only ones, because USA Today immediately faced backlash on Twitter.  One tweet read “Point out the lady or gentleman who gave the thumbs up on this article.” Another tweet posted “Congratulations, this by far, the most ignorant headline of the week.”

Tweet_USAToday1

Tweet_USAToday5

USA TODAY HEADLINE TOLD THE STORY, TWEET WAS UNCLEAR

The USA TODAY headline on its website read “United passenger’s lawyer says he’s gotten emails comparing client to Rosa Parks.”  Now that should have been the tweet. 

Tweet_USAToday7

USA Today chose not to use the same headline that was on their website, a decision that does not make sense. It could have been shortened, made the story crystal clear and avoided criticism.

AVOID WHAT MAY APPEAR TO BE CLICK-BAIT TWEETS

Today we want everyone to click into our stories because competition is tough. And I know that writing interesting and sometimes bizarre headlines can attract readers.

Let us not forget that many people make up their minds and quickly over one tweet without ever clicking into the story.  That’s why it is important to be clear and informative in 140 characters.

A reader will give you one chance and you can blow it in one tweet.

USA Today corrected its mistake. As I was writing this blog, I noticed it took down the original tweet and replaced it with a new tweet that makes more sense ” United passenger’s lawyer says he’s gotten emails comparing his client to Rosa Parks:”

tweet_USAToday8

As I say over and over “Think before you tweet.”

The United Airlines PR nightmare that could have been avoided

UnitedAirlines

United Airlines has made a lot of mistakes and now it finds itself in a big PR nightmare. The proof ended up on a video that went viral and passengers left in shock.

HOW IT STARTED

United had an overbooked flight from Chicago to Louisville on Sunday. Why do airlines oversell flights?

United needed four seats for four employees who were flying on standby. How come they get priority over passengers who already dished out money for a ticket?

United offered up to 800 dollars in travel vouchers to passengers if someone would give up their seat. No takers. Why didn’t the airline offer more money? Everyone has a price.

United decided to randomly pick passengers off the flight when no one gave up their seat. Three passengers were apparently fine with it but one man was not.  He said he was a doctor who insisted he had to go home.  How did the airline randomly pick passengers?

When the man would not leave, the airline called in airport officers who forcibly dragged the man out of his seat. It was a violent scene. The passenger hit his face on an arm rest and started bleeding. Why were the officers rough with him?

While some passengers were recording video on their phones, others were left in shock and in tears. Who is going to help the passengers now dealing with their own trauma?

Audra Bridges caught everything on video.

UNITED’S CEO RELEASES STATEMENT THAT MADE THINGS WORSE

Problems continued when United’s CEO Oscar Munoz came out with a statement that sounded like a pity party for the airline. He called the situation an “upsetting event” for United.  Did he hear the passenger’s outcry as they dragged the man down the aisle? Did he see the passenger’s bloody face? Now that’s upsetting.

The CEO apologized for “having to re-accommodate”  customers.”  Dragging a man in an airplane is the CEO’s version of re-accommodate?

United_Response,

CNN reported Monday that one of the officers has been placed on suspension. Why weren’t all the officers put on leave?

United’s CEO says the matter is being reviewed. Too late, the damage is done.

My advice to CEO Oscar Munoz is get a better PR team and find the doctor, apologize in person and offer him and his family flights for LIFE.

It’s a start.

Sources: New York Times, CNBC,

 

Dallas Mega Marchers show commitment to unity and push for immigration reform

DPD-MegaMarchA

Photo courtesy: DPD

The Dallas Mega March did not draw the 100-thousand people that organizers expected, but the ones who did show up were just as passionate as the ones in 2006. That’s when 500,000 marchers took to the streets of Dallas.

RA_megaMarch1A

Photos by Rebecca Aguilar 

Ashley of Sherman, Texas was at the rally in front of Dallas City Hall with a sign that read “Got White Privilege?” She thought it was important to take her little boy to the Mega March on Sunday, because she said it was history.

Thousands at the rally waved signs, some read “Will trade racists for refugees” and “Keep hope alive.” Dallas police estimated around 32-hundred people marched on Sunday.

I did a Facebook Live while I was there and walked through the crowd. People of different backgrounds, ages, and religions were there to show their support.

Best cold weather live shot, thanks WGN’s Nancy Loo

NancyLoo

YouTube Screenshot: Nancy Loo at WGN

Standing in freezing weather delivering a live shot is part of the job of any television reporter. We’ve all done them.

We’ve also heard the news anchor in the warm studio toss it to us out in the field with “How cold is it?” That made me cringe every time.

Well Nancy Loo of WGN in Chicago gets my kudos. She had one of the shortest weather reports, got a standing ovation and left me thinking “Why didn’t I think of that?”

I love this live shot. Nice job Nancy!

 

 

Texas ‘Affluenza’ teen Ethan Couch taken into custody in Mexico

Update: Mexican officials say Ethan Couch and his mother entered Mexico under false names.  Telemundo 40 spoke to authorities in Mexico>>Ethan Couch Story

 

CouchArrested

UPDATE:  Tarrant County Sheriff Department hopes to have the case of Ethan Couch transferred from juvenile court to adult court when he is returned to Texas. At a Tuesday press conference, Sheriff Dee Anderson said the teenager’s mother will be charged with hindering apprehension.

One of my sources with the  U.S. Marshals Service, not directly on Couch case said Immigration authorities in Mexico are not done with Couch and his mother. Both face charges there of entering the country illegally.

__________________

U.S. Marshals are on their way to Puerta Vallarta, Mexico where Ethan Couch has been detained with his mother, Tonya. Couch, better known as the “affluenza teen” has been missing for two weeks. CNN broke the story Monday night.

The Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department has been looking for the 18-year-old Couch ever since he allegedly violated his probation. Investigators were also looking for his mother who they said was missing.  A warrant was issued for Couch to be taken into custody after his probation officer couldn’t reach him earlier this month.

Two years ago, Couch made national news when he was sentenced to probation for a drunken driving crash that killed four people. A psychologist had testified that Couch suffered from “affluenza” and that the 16-year-old at the time of his court case was a rich kid whose parents didn’t teach him the difference between right and wrong.

WHAT HAPPENS TO COUCH NOW?

The U.S Marshals Service North District of Texas office will return Couch to Texas. According to one of my sources with the U.S Marshals Service, if a fugitive from the U.S. is a U.S. citizen, the Instituto Nacional de Migracion (INM), which is Mexico’s Immigration Service will make a formal determination if the fugitive has an legal status to remain in Mexico. The fugitive will remain in its custody until that determination is made.

 

TonyaCouch

Tonya Couch,  Photo Courtesy: Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department

INM generally views U.S. fugitives as undesirable aliens, and will order them to be deported from Mexico. The U.S. Marshals who arrive in Mexico will then escort the fugitive to a U.S. destination on a direct flight from Puerta Vallarta.

My source who is not on the Couch case and was speaking in general terms said there should not be a lot of paperwork involved with Couch, because it is an internal Mexican immigration process and not a formal request from the U.S. like an extradition. The U.S. Marshals Service will provide documentation and photos to Mexican authorities.

The process to return a fugitive from Mexico to the U.S. can take between 24 to 48 hours. That means Ethan Couch could be back in North Texas very soon if there are no problems with the paperwork. As for his mother, Tarrant County Sheriff’s investigators still have to determine if she was allegedly involved in her son’s decision to take off and hide in Mexico.

 

 

 

Fund set up for family of Petra Porras, mother of four killed in North Texas tornadoes

Today the family of Petra Porras is grieving her death. The 27-year-old was one of the victims killed by a tornado that hit North Texas the day after Christmas.

Porrosfamily

Photo courtesy: GoFundMe

Porras’ family told Fox 4 News that her SUV was thrown off an overpass by a tornado. In total, 11 people lost there lives in North Texas. Meteorologists say three tornadoes tore through the area.

Porras was the mother of four children. Her husband told a local reporter that she was a great mother and the family had a wonderful Christmas day together. Porras’ 9-year-old daughter had given her a handmade coupon book for Christmas full of coupons offerings hugs and kisses.

GoFundMe account has now been set up to help the family raise money for funeral costs and other needs. Please donate and let’s help this family get through this difficult time in their lives. Let’s help Petra Porras’ children understand that they are not alone.

Porras’ GoFundMe page>> GoFundMe

 

 

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s City Editor shows no compassion on Twitter for laid off workers

My topic today is Nancy Phillips. I don’t like calling out journalists, but in this case I have to. Phillips ranks high on my “Shame on You” list.

Recently 46 journalists lost their jobs at The Daily News, Philly.com and The Inquirer. The massive layoffs were a move by the Philadelphia Media Network to save money and merge all platforms into one newsroom.

No one likes seeing anyone lose a job. I feel for the 46 journalists who are out of work and that includes my friend, Regina Medina. She’s one of the best investigative reporters in the country.

But what really got under my skin was a tweet by The Philadelphia Inquirer’s City Editor Nancy Phillips.  Just days after the massive layoffs, Phillips bragged about a fancy meal on her Twitter page. Where was her compassion for the journalists out of work wondering how they were going to pay for their next meal?

 

 

I hope management at the Media Network does something about Phillip’s callous statement. She should apologize on Twitter to those she has hurt with her tweet.  Yes this hurts!

 

Now is the time to show compassion for those who lost their jobs, and figure out a way to help them get work. Nancy Phillips you’re lucky you have a job, but we now know you’re a manager who has no compassion for your fellow journalists.  Shame on you!

 

 

Mercado Bilingüe, the small Dallas newspaper with a big vision for our Latino community

It’s nice to see that two of my stories have made the front page of  Mercado Bilingüe’s online site. One was about the impact of Pope Francis’ visit and the other about a Texas group fighting to get water breaks for construction workers.

But this blog is actually a big shout out to Mercado Bilingüe and Editor-and-Chief Phillip Morales who allows me to write opinion pieces and cover stories that affect our DFW Latino community. Something I’ve always wanted to do as a journalist.

A while back I realized Mercado Bilingüe was making an impact in North Texas. It is a small weekly newspaper but one with a big vision. The vision is to cover stories that mainstream media often ignores. Stories that are impacting Latinos and their families. You can also read Mercado Bilingüe online.

When I worked in local television news in Dallas, doing a positive story on Latinos was nearly impossible. Breaking news and blood and guts feeds the local television news beast every day. The only Latinos I covered as a TV reporter were those accused of committing a crime or victims. I also covered many immigration stories. That was my job and I was good at it.

But Latinos are more than stories about immigration and undocumented workers.  We’re business leaders, scientists, doctors, lawyers, community leaders, teachers, fundraisers and much more. We are contributing every day in local neighborhoods and businesses.

Today small news outlets around the country like Mercado Bilingüe are giving readers, even non-Latinos a good and important choice. Would you rather watch another local crime story on television or read a story in Mercado Bilingüe that can inspire and empower you as a person?

I also applaud Morales for embracing this veteran news woman. At a time when many news managers are actually posting jobs that read “Looking for a young eager reporter to cover…”, Morales realizes that age has nothing to do with good journalism.

Funny story, a local newspaper manager turned me down for work because he claimed I didn’t have enough newspaper experience.  My decades of experience in television news didn’t count for him. Yes, doors are closed even for women like me with 50 journalism awards and nominations.

My last bit of good news, I will be covering the 2016 Presidential race for Mercado Bilingüe. I love politics. As Latinos we are a huge voting block and I will be finding out what the candidates have planned for us.

One year anniversary of the 43 missing students in Mexico, they will not be forgotten

Social media today is connecting people around the world who want answers and justice for the families of the 43 students who disappeared in Mexico one year ago. Protests are going on all over Mexico and even in the United States.

 

If you’re not familiar with what happened to these students. Please watch this short video by AJ+

Monica Ortiz wrote on Facebook.

September 26th marks the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of the 43 students from la normal Ayotzinapa in Iguala, Mexico. I stand in solidarity with the families that are still left with no justice over such a tragic event, still with so many questions that remain unanswered. Today, I am proud of my daughter Gabby, for taking part in the vigil and standing for 43 minutes in representation of the normalistas who were brutally abducted and murdered. She and 42 other student demonstrators held up painted hands and signs with “43+” on them. Today, we mourn the loss of these students and share in the grief their families are still enduring.

 

Protests are everywhere.

 

More stories:

BBC: Mexico’s missing Iguala students: The disappeared 43

Al Jazeera:Remember Ayotzinapa Superb coverage of each of the families of the victims.