Posted in Human Interest, Inspirational, Uncategorized

Bailey Jean Matheson’s obituary inspires us to live, ’35 years may not seem long, but damn it was good!’

Bailey Jean Matheson died earlier this month of cancer. Two years ago when she found out she had cancer, she decided to make several major decisions that she shared in self-written obituary.

My parents gave me the greatest gift of supporting my decisions with not going through chemo and just letting me live the rest of my life the way I believed it should be.

I didn’t know Bailey, but her death made me think of the recent deaths of my dear friends, Laura Brigante and Ana Real. I thought they would be around for a long time. Their deaths and Bailey’s obituary reminded me that we cannot predict where our lives are headed or when they will come to an end. We must enjoy our lives now.

Surround yourself with good people. Do a job that you love and make sure the people around you support you and not bring you down. If it’s toxic, leave and find something else.

Use your talents to help others. Volunteering is a good thing.

Don’t worry about what other’s think. Don’t let fear hold you back from taking a chance or speaking up.

Stop worrying about money. You can always live off rice, frijoles (beans) and tortillas.  Stop trying to keep up with the Kardashians.

Laugh today and love with all your heart.

Find some kind of spiritual nourishment. Yes, I believe in God. Remember you are never alone. If you’re on my social media, you know I keep it real. I follow my own advice.

Feel free to share this message with someone who needs some inspiration today.

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Posted in Breaking News, Human Interest, immigration, Uncategorized

NBC’s Tom Brokaw insults the Hispanic community, apologizes, and then claims, “I got your attention”

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“it worked! i got your attention. ‘night,” that’s how Tom Brokaw ended his day on Sunday after he angered many around the country.  His tweet makes you wonder does this former NBC anchorman even understand the magnitude of his insults on “Meet the Press.” He revealed his real feelings about Hispanics and mix marriages.

As usual, there were no Hispanic commentators or journalists at the table to push back. This is something I have addressed with moderator, Chuck Todd when I saw him in person at the Excellence in Journalism conference in September 2018. Fortunately,“PBS NewsHour” White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor was there to respond to Brokaw’s comments.

 

Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro tweeted his disappointment at Brokaw, and gave him some history about “assimilating.”

 

Brokaw apologized on Twitter and kept tweeting. “My tweet portal is whack…”

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Tom Brokaw wanted our attention and he got it. Now, it’s time for NBC to let him retire for good. He’s out of touch with the Hispanic and immigrant community. Please don’t blame it on his old age.  It’s also time for NBC and “Meet the Press” to get serious about including Hispanic/Latinos in the conversation. With 58 MILLION Hispanics in this country, we should not be missing from the round table.

Posted in Awards, Human Interest, Inspirational, Uncategorized

Women who inspired at the 2019 Golden Globes: Regina King, Lady Gaga, Meher Tatna

Regina King won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by a Supportive Actress in a Film for her work in If Beal Street Could Talk.  On stage Sunday night, she challenged those with power and a platform to give more jobs to women.

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The Hollywood Foreign Press Association awarded one million dollar grants to nonprofit journalism organizations: The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and Inside Climate News. The president of HFPA said it’s important to protect our freedoms.

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Lady Gaga took home a Golden Globe for Best Original Song for A Star is Born. On stage she thanked her male co-producers for their support in a tough music business.

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And an unknown water girl became the social media craze at the 2019 Golden Globes. The Fiji Water Girl gets the Golden Globe for “Best Photobomber” on the red carpet.

Posted in politics, Uncategorized

Why journalists should not be taking selfies with political candidates

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We’re only a few days away from election day and political candidates are still beating the pavement for votes. If you’re one of many journalists assigned to the political beat, you know that balance matters in your story. No matter how you may feel about any specific politician including the president, it is our job to have balanced political coverage and reporting.  It’s different if you’re a TV or radio commentator or opinion editor. They can say what they want and take a side.

Now to my point.

I have seen several reporters in Texas who make it obvious they are Beto O’Rourke supporters. They take selfies with him and post them on their social media. It seems like something very innocent to do, but you may be sending his opponent’s press team the idea that you are bias. That you have a favorite.  I have also seen a few journalists take selfies with Senator Ted Cruz. 

It’s an issue several news directors have told me they are dealing with today. Reporters who can’t stop taking selfies with politicians, especially those running for office. I know news managers who have pulled reporters off election/political coverage, because of a photo or because the opponent’s side has brought it to management’s attention. They will demand a reporter be taken off the story. That selfie with a candidate sends the message “you like him/her better than our candidate.”

I’m not saying don’t take photos with politicians, but don’t post them. Don’t think because you post a photo on your private Facebook that it remains private. A photo of you interviewing a candidate or politician is fine, because you’re on the job. Your post to your readers, viewers or listeners can be you promoting your story with the politician. 

We have to work smart, because the media is being judged more today than ever before. 

A reporter on Media Buzz (Fox News) said 12 reporters have lost their jobs this year because of bias political tweets. That’s another issue. 

So what do you say to a political candidate when he or she wants to take a photo with you? Politely decline. I have had politicians ask to take a photo with me and I always  turned them down politely, “Sorry I can’t, I’m on the job, but feel free to have someone on your staff take photos of us during the interview or while we’re talking. That’s fine.” I have interviewed Clinton, Carter, Bush, and even the late Ronald Reagan. I don’t have any photos with them, but I do have the video. That’s good enough.

Good luck on election night.

Posted in Human Interest, Inspirational, News management, Uncategorized

National Boss Day: What does it take to be a good boss?

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What does it take to be good boss? Ask yourself that question. How would you like to be treated?

On National Boss Day, I think about the good bosses I have had in the past. I’ve had great managers, but also my share of bully bosses.

The good boss will make you better at your job. They know your strengths and weaknesses. They realize that each employee brings their unique talent to the workplace.

LiveChat shared this list of “Signs of a Great Leader: How to be a Good Boss.” How does your current boss rate?

  1. Build a bond of trust.
  2. Praise your employees.
  3. Inspire your employees.
  4. Let your employees be themselves.
  5. Value feedback.

The bully boss is insecure and lacks confidence. They hide behind bully tactics and other bully managers to rule a workplace. They teach bad habits to managers who are lower in the company food chain. As someone who has worked mostly in newsrooms, it happens there too.  And don’t get me started on the enablers of bully bosses. That is a future blog.

Former news director, Kevin Benz talked at the 2018 Excellence in Journalism conference about bad bosses. In his “No More Assholes Part 2: The coward’s guide to conflict in the newsroom,” Benz reminded journalists that there is no room in a newsroom for an asshole boss. In my opinion, asshole managers don’t belong anywhere.

I’ll be sharing more of Kevin Benz’s tips on good and bad management in the future. He tells it like it is.

On this National Boss Day let us celebrate those who are doing it right. Give them a pat on the back. Give them a shout out on your social media, even those from your past.

Remember you are a success today because of those good bosses.

 

Posted in News Now, Nonprofits, Trending, Uncategorized

Support 15 of the best nonprofit news sites #NationalNonprofitDay

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There are many nonprofit news sites that are flushing out wrongdoers, revealing scams, and giving a voice to many communities ignored by other media outlets. They count on donations to stay in business. On this National Nonprofit Day, please donate what it would cost you to buy a cup of coffee. Every amount, small or large, does make a difference. Here are 15 of my favorite sites. Check them out.

Centro de Periodismo Investigativo

The Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI) is a non-profit entity created in 2007 by journalist Omaya Sosa Pascual, former president of the Overseas Press Club, and journalist and lawyer Oscar J. Serrano, former president of the Association of Journalists of Puerto Rico. It promotes access to information for the people of Puerto Rico through three channels: investigative journalism, litigation and journalistic training. Donate

ProPublica

ProPublica is an American nonprofit organization based in New York City. It is a nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. Founded in 2007. 501(c)(3).

Center for Investigative Reporting

The Center for Investigative Reporting is a nonprofit news organization based in Emeryville, California, and has conducted investigative journalism since 1977

Honolulu Civil Beat

A news outlet in Hawaii dedicated to public affairs reporting. Its mission is to engage and educate the community on important public issues through in-depth reporting, explanatory and investigative journalism, analysis and commentary.

The Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit media organization in Texas. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, it aims to promote civic engagement through original, explanatory journalism and public events.  Donate

Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is a nonprofit investigative news organization housed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Donate

The Connecticut News Project, Inc.

In 2009, a small group of Connecticut residents, concerned about the decline in watchdog journalism, formed the Connecticut News Project, Inc. A few months later, after securing start-up funding and hiring some veteran journalists, CNP launched The Connecticut Mirror, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news outlet with a very clear mission: Produce deep reporting on government policies and politics, to become an invaluable resource for anyone who lives, works or cares about Connecticut, and to hold our policymakers accountable for their decisions and actions.

Florida Bulldog

Investigative news is in peril in South Florida. Investigative reporting uncovers injustice, exposes corruption and holds those in public decision-making positions accountable for their actions.

The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting is an independent, nonprofit newsroom devoted to educating the public about crucial issues in the Midwest with a special focus on agribusiness and related topics such as government programs, environment and energy.

MinnPost

MinnPost is a nonprofit, nonpartisan enterprise whose mission is to provide high-quality journalism for people who care about Minnesota.

The Lens

The Lens aims to engage and empower the residents of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. It provides the information and analysis necessary to advocate for more accountable and just governance.

Chicago Defender

The Chicago Defender is the oldest and most respected African-American newspaper in Chicago. Founded in 1905 by Robert Sengstacke Abbott, the Chicago Defender celebrated its 111th Anniversary in 2016. It was recognized nationally as the second most widely read and best African-American Newspaper by Nielson and Essence Survey 2014.

Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting 

The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting is a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom based in Louisville, Ky. We produce investigative journalism that affects you, your neighborhood, your Commonwealth. Our mission is to protect society’s most vulnerable citizens, expose wrongdoing in the public and private sectors, increase transparency in government and hold leaders accountable. We promise to dig for the truth without fear or favor, cut through red tape and spark public conversation.

The Intercept

After NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden came forward with revelations of mass surveillance in 2013, journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Jeremy Scahill decided to found a new media organization dedicated to the kind of reporting those disclosures required: fearless, adversarial journalism. They called it The Intercept.

Institute for Nonprofit News

The Institute for Nonprofit News is a non-profit consortium of journalism organizations. The organization promotes nonprofit investigative and public service journalism through its association of member entities.  It was founded in 2009.

 

Posted in Breaking News, immigration, Latino Community, Uncategorized

U.S. Catholic Bishops speak out against Trump administration’s policy to separate immigrant families “Children are not instruments of deterrence”

Bishop Daniel Flores and Bishop Joe Vásquez of Texas are telling the world even on  Twitter they are against the Trump administration’s move to separate undocumented parents and their children at the border.

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Bishop Flores tweeted on May 31:

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Twitter Screenshot: Bishop Flores

Separating immigrant parents and children as a supposed deterrent to immigration is a cruel and reprehensible policy. Children are not instruments of deterrence, they are children. A government that thinks any means is suitable to achieve an end cannot secure justice for anyone.

The Trump administration denied for months that there was no formal policy separating families at the border. Their story fell apart and finally they had to come clean that they were separating parents from their children as a deterrent to keep other immigrants from coming to the U.S. illegally.

Read a good background piece by Jonathon Blitzer in The New Yorker. In “How the Trump Administration Got Comfortable Separating Immigrant Kids from Their Parents,” Blitzer writes:

On April 6th, Jeff Sessions and Kirstjen Nielsen, the head of Homeland Security, announced a zero-tolerance policy for immigrants at the border. Anyone who didn’t cross the U.S. border at an official port of entry would be criminally prosecuted, even if they were seeking asylum, and those travelling with their children would be separated from them. The policy was now official, and the Administration acknowledged its rationale: it was separating families to discourage others from travelling to the United States illegally

What was the policy before? Politifacts reports:

Before the Trump administration, immigrants entering illegally as families were rarely prosecuted, said Sarah Pierce, an associate policy analyst of the U.S. Immigration Program at the Migration Policy Institute. Instead, immigrants were held in family detention centers until they were sent to appear before an immigration court or deported.

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Bishop Joe Vásquez, the Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, issued a statement on June 1:

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Photo Courtesy: Bob Roller, CNS

Forcibly separating children from their mothers and fathers is ineffective to the goals of deterrence and safety and contrary to our Catholic values. Family unity is a cornerstone of our American immigration system and a foundational element of Catholic teaching. ‘Children are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward.’ (Psalm 127:3) Children are not instruments of deterrence but a blessing from God.

Rupturing the bond between parent and child causes scientifically proven trauma that often leads to irreparable emotional scarring. Accordingly, children should always be placed in the least restrictive setting: a safe, family environment, ideally with their own families.

My brother bishops and I understand the need for the security of our borders and country, but separating arriving families at the U.S./Mexico border does not allay security concerns. Children and families will continue to take the enormous risks of migration—including family separation—because the root causes of migration from the Northern Triangle remain: community or state-sanctioned violence, gang recruitment, poverty, and a lack of educational opportunity. Any policies should address these factors first as we seek to repair our broken immigration system.

The New Yorker reports that according to the Department of Homeland Security, 658 children were separated from their parents between May 6th and May 19th.

 

Other stories of interest:

Houston Chronicle: Immigrant Families Separated at Border Struggle to Find Each Other