Browsing Tag



Why I’m Unfollowing Local TV Stations on Twitter

March 20, 2015

I grew up watching New York City TV, and have held the opinion for years that WABC-TV is a class act. I think back–dating myself in the process–to Bill Beutel, a legend who was one of the few anchors in my years as a local TV reporter who got me to call home to my family to say I’m doing a liveshot with Bill Beutel–record it!

But man, times have changed. I follow WABC on Twitter, but I really think it’s time to unfollow–and that’s not saying I don’t appreciate their news. I do, but the station’s Twitter account is a cavalcade of garbage that wastes my time, and I hate that. This morning, WABC tweeted–in all caps, no less–a story about a woman who drinks soda: “ANOTHER UNEXPECTED SECRET TO LONG LIFE,” the tweet bellows across my TweetDeck. “At 104, Sullivan keeps her doctor on hand.”

Sorry, who’s “Sullivan,” again? Well, as it turns out, she’s a lady from Texas. And she drinks three Dr. Peppers a day. And that, my friends, is that. Worse, if you click on the story, you get this gem of a lede: “One of Fort Worth’s oldest residents is contributing her longevity to Dr. Pepper soda.” Contributing? I give up. Unfollow.

sheepdogThe tweet that preceded the lady from Houston who thinks soda is keeping her alive was this: “PRECIOUS: Farmer live-tweets birth of 10 sheepdog puppies.” Staten Island, at least? Queens, maybe? No. England.

Two tweets before that, we were treated to a selfie taken by reporter Kristin Thorne, dancing. “Reporter by trade, but Always a dancer.” Unfollow.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy being alerted at 4 a.m. by the ABC-owned TV station in New York to a promotional video from a betting company in the UK that features dogs racing, sent in a tweet that read “Too cute!” What, no caps? Well, the thing is, maybe I don’t want this flood of garbage. Just tell me about alternate side of the street, weather, and what the mayor is doing to my daughter’s school. I can get the viral video and soda-drinking old ladies everywhere else.


Source: Mark Joyella | Standupkid

From the Web


Matt Lauer’s Full of It

June 30, 2014

Matt Lauer‘s a decent interviewer, and clearly a successful broadcaster. But he’s full of it if he thinks it wasn’t a classic example of everyday sexism to ask a female CEO–of a company in the midst of a massive scandal–whether she can really be effective as a corporate leader and a Mom. Jesus, Matt, really?

But that’s what he asked Thursday on NBC’s Today, asking GM CEO Mary Barra this: “You said in an interview not long ago that your kids said they’re going to hold you accountable for one job, and that is being a mom. Given the pressure at General Motors, can you do both well?”

As has been pointed out by many on Twitter, there is simply no way in hell any interviewer asks that of a male CEO. Just won’t happen. Never. Ever. And that, by definition, makes Lauer’s unnecessary softball question sexist.

Lauer has since defended himself, pointing to the interview he referenced in setting up the question:

She had just accepted the job as the first female CEO of a major American automotive company, and in the article she said that she felt horrible when she missed her son’s junior prom. It’s an issue almost any parent including myself can relate to. If a man had publicly said something similar after accepting a high-level job, I would have asked him exactly the same thing. A couple weeks ago, we did a series on “Modern Dads” and the challenges of fatherhood today. Work-life balance was one of our focuses. It’s an important topic, one that I’m familiar with personally, and I hope we can continue the discussion.

A few problems here. First, just because a female CEO talks about her family does not mean it’s relevant or not sexist to pose the classic sexist question of can you do both. Why not add, “Sweetheart” at the beginning and gently pat her on the knee as well? I mean, clearly, she’s going to have to phone in one of those gigs, and God knows either the kids will suffer, or the shareholders will. Right?

And as to Lauer’s insistence that he’d ask a man the same question, I say I’m calling BS. (Obviously, the next male CEO to sit with Lauer will naturally be asked that question, but that’s purely going to be spin and damage control) “It’s an important topic,” he says. And they even did a series on “Modern Dads”! Modern Dads? I’d argue that’s just about as out of touch. You mean MEN CAN HAVE WORK AND FAMILY LIVES, MATT?

Detroit journalist David Shepardson notes Lauer never asked about this critical issue of Dads and work-life balance when he interviewed another automotive boss:

And it’s not like Lentz never spoke of having a family outside his role as North American president of Toyota (another company, by the way, that at the time of the NBC interview was in the midst of crisis). During the same media blitz that included the Lauer interview, Lentz told NPR “I drive Toyota products, my wife drives Toyota products, my family drives Toyota products, friends and neighbors drive Toyota products, and I can tell you that I wouldn’t have loved ones in our products if I didn’t think they were safe.”

So if Lauer is to be believed, he would have followed up a statement like that by turning away from the news to focus on the family, right? But Jim, you say you care about your family. You’re a Dad and a corporate president. [leans in to pat his knee softly] “Sweetheart, given the pressure at Toyota, can you do both well?

Matt, you’re full of it.

Source: @standupkid

From the Web


Sudan Stories: Language, Guns, & Phones – Media Training In Cairo

April 28, 2014

Recorded in March 2014 as part of a media training by Small World News in Cairo, Egypt. 

Download Audio

cairo_skylineFrom an ad-hoc classroom through the bustling streets of Cairo, Egypt to the Pyramids of Giza, this is an audio journal of stories and  thoughts recorded while working with Small World News to train Sudanese media makers in March of 2014.

Our hotel was located down a busy, dusty ally in downtown Cairo. Each day our team scribbled on charts and whiteboards in a top-floor classroom with windows that opened to the noisy clanking of perpetual construction. For two weeks over coffee and sheesha with our Sudanese colleagues we used Android devices to review the techniques of telling stories that deeply resonate with people.

Our group was remarkable, and individually live fascinating lives in different regions of Sudan. Each day was an opportunity to learn more about family, music, language, and culture. With the help of great translators listened to personal stories, asked questions, and recorded audio. As with my prior trip to Sudan, I also occasionally recorded short audio journal entries of our activity. Far from an official report, this is a narrative that tries to capture the essence of the people of Sudan, as well as the sounds of Egypt.


In this episode you’ll hear a number of captivating stories:

  • The story of a mother awake in a storm anxiously awaiting the return of her son.
  • The impact of the Egyptian revolution on tourism at the Giza Pyramids.
  • The impact of violence and systemic marginalization on language, music, and dance in Kordofan.
  • How mobile phones are empowering disenfranchised groups.
  • The pop music of Sudan, Egypt, Eritrea, and Ethiopia.



The experiences shared in this story are raw, unvettable, and sometimes shocking. Yet these experiences are shared by thousands of Sudanese  refugees and internally displaced persons. To learn more about systemic marginalization and the wars in Sudan, Kordofan, and Darfur please read Richard Cockett’s Sudan, Darfur, Islamism and the World.

The stories shared in this episode were conducted with a local, untrained translator and recorded on the fly with a Marantz PMD620. I speak Arabic poorly and did my best to keep up with the narrative, but surely much nuance and context was lost in translation. Arabic clarification and edits are welcome.

Thanks for listening.


Learn More:

Sudan Stories:


Filed under: Audio, Blog, Culture, Episode, Interviews, Media, News and Politics, News/Commentary, Podcast, Politics, Post Archive, Reporting Tagged: Audio, Brian Conley, Cairo, Dan Patterson, Egypt, Episode, Guns, Interview, Journalism, Kordofan, Language, Media, Nuba, Phones, Podcast, Reporting, Small World News, Stories, Sudan, Teaching, Training

Source: Dan Patterson

From the Web