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03 Apr

My keynote for JACC 2014

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Tonight I gave one of the most important talks I have ever given in my life.

In 1996, while a student at Pierce Community College, I attended my first journalism conference: Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC).

Now, nearly 20 years later, I returned to be its keynote speaker.

This was an intense, historical talk for me… and I knew I wanted to document it. So, while the audio isn’t perfect, I did a screen capture of my talk.

NOTE: The first 30 minutes is my talk, the second 30 minutes is the Q&A.

Thank you to JACC for inviting to speak.

And thank you to everyone who has changed my life. I mention many of you.

I did not do this alone.

The video (unedited):

Some of the pics from the event:

A ‘helfie’ as the students walked into the room for the keynote.

I apologized and warned the attendees that I would probably break down from the feels.

Great photo as I talked about my life where ‘stuff happened.’.

Someone sketched a cartoon of me during my talk.

I took a (forced) selfie with my first journalism professor Rob O’Neil. This man changed my life.

24 Mar

Twitter bot vs misinformation = @accuracybot

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I made this icon by hand in less than two minutes, so I know it does not look cool. But you get the point.

I made this icon by hand in less than two minutes, so I know it does not look cool. But you get the point.

We’ve all seen them.

We all hate them.

But what if we created a “spam” Twitter bot for good?

Here’s my latest idea: What if we create a Twitter bot account that actively tweets at people who are spreading misinformation via Twitter?

We know that vaccines don’t cause autism, why not tweet a response (with a link) to someone making that claim?

We know that Obama was born in the US. Let’s tweet a response to someone tweeting about his birth certificate.

Let’s then move the bot – or bots – into breaking news situations where misinformation, including images, spread quickly on Twitter.

The way I see it, this isn’t too “hard” to do… but it requires a few things:

Step 1: Create an account
Step 2: Identify misinformation
Step 3: Define pattern of misinformation tweets
Step 4: Craft 140 character response to misinformation tweets
Step 5: Repeat steps 2-4 for the next set of misinformation.

Oh yeah, that whole coding a Twitter bot is perhaps the most important step.

If this works, I can for see news organizations creating accuracy bots of their own battling misinformation.

What do you think?

More importantly, are interested in helping create this?

I already did Step 1: @accuracybot

02 Mar

Storify of my AMA/Keynote experiment done mid-flight

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Categories: Journalism, Twitter Tags:
28 Feb

Launched! [blank] is the future of journalism

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blank-is-the-future-of-journalism-animated

[Blank] is the future of journalism is bar game for jaded journalists, created by Kim Bui, David Cohn, Maite Fernandez, Robert Hernandez and Matt Thompson at a DC bar in January 2014.

The premise is that you have two minutes to become a pundit and seriously preach/defend/sell the randomized concept, or [blank], to your jaded friends.

Go play and send us feedback: http://blankisthefutureofjournalism.com/

16 Jan

Remembering Raul Ramirez

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Raul Ramirez Journal


Raul Ramirez

1946-2013

Raul was my professor.

Raul was tough.

I am not sure how I passed that investigative reporting class at San Francisco State… but he taught me about the integrity, the power and responsibility of journalism… and of those who practice it.

Raul was a mentor.

Raul was a friend.

The image above was from the back of the card handed out at his memorial held in Berkeley on January 12, 2014. It’s an excerpt form his journal, written in the early 1980s:

Yes. It is difficult, but not impossible if your heart and mind remain open to life, to people and to the possibility that Love can be. Not difficult, if you are willing to risk, to grow, and perhaps to hurt.

Raul was truly a great man… a mentor to so many… a role model, on many fronts.

He will be missed.


-30-

Categories: Diversity, Journalism, NAHJ, Personal Tags:
10 Jan

MUST SEE: Video of Brad Frost’s ‘Death to Bullshit’ talk

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Brad Frost (“web designer, speaker, writer, consultant, musician, and artist in beautiful Pittsburgh, PA”) gave an amazing talk I shared last year, but I just realized I never posted it here for me to remember and refer to. (If you haven’t noticed, this blog is for me… a collection of reminders, inspiration, random thoughts and occasional rants.)

So, see this. It’s AWESOME. So f*cking good.

2013/4 Brad Frost from CreativeMornings/PGH on Vimeo.

Paper is bullshit.
Jargon is bullshit.
Sensationalism is bullshit.
Opportunism is bullshit.
QR Codes are bullshit.
Disruptions are bullshit.
Cruft is bullshit.
Spam is bullshit.
Anti-patterns are bullshit.
Advertising is bullshit.

The talk was part of a series put on by CreativeMornings/Pittsburgh. See more of their videos here: https://vimeo.com/cmpittsburgh/videos.

CreativeMornings talks are happening in many cities, including international. Go to one near you: http://creativemornings.com/

12 Dec

Guest on O’Reilly Radar Podcast

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I was fortunate to join Jon Bruner and Jenn Webb, co-hosts of the Radar Podcast for a roundtable discussion with Mark Trammell (of Sonos, previously of Obama HQ and Twitter) and Rebekah Monson (of the University of Miami) during NewsFoo last month.

05 Nov

“I am the bard. I am the poet.”

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An old friend and Seattle Times colleague Thaddeus Hanscom sent me a link to this video. And he added: “Watch that. Replace ‘poet’ with ‘journalist.'”

I want you to do the same.

I hope you feel what I felt.




I am the bard.

I am the poet.

And to be a poet while the Internet exists… man we got an opportunity!

— Poet Steve Roggenbuck, an Internet Bard at last.

01 Nov

How to find possible sources via Foursquare during breaking news

I’ve been preaching this for several years now, but here is a screen-by-screen walkthrough on how you can find possible sources through Foursquare.

First, an obvious but necessary PSA: Just because it is on social media, it does not make it a fact. These are tips, not facts. In fact, I checked in from my USC office 20 miles away from the Los Angeles International Airport.

Step 1:
Search for the location. (NOTE: Your location doesn’t matter. You can check in from anywhere.)
Step 01 - 4sq sources

Step 2:
Check in… after finding the location you are looking for. (NOTE: For transparency, I recommend you add that you are checking in to look for sources. (Here’s my note/tweet):
Step 02 - 4sq sources

Step 3:
After checking in, go back to your home screen and select your recent check in.
Step 03 - 4sq sources

Step 4:
From your check in, click on the location you just check in on
Step-04---4sq-sources

Step 5:
Click on the thumbnails of people who are there with you
Step 05 - 4sq sources

Step 6:
Select someone who has checked in that location, noting their relevant times.
Step 06 - 4sq sources

Step 7:
On their profile, you learn more about where they are from, their bio and, more importantly, how to get a hold of them through social networks (in red box).
Step-07---4sq-sources

Step 8:
Reach out and start your reporting.
Step 08 - 4sq sources

Person’s Twitter account:
Twitter-account

An Instagram the person tweeted while on the plane, watching the breaking news coverage.
Instagram-image

NOTE: While their profiles are set to public, as a courtesy, I tried to blur out and anonymize people’s identities.

17 Sep

Teachapalooza: The Power of Code on Poynter

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power of code

I converted a recent lightning talk about the Power of Code to a post for Poynter.

Read it here: http://www.poynter.org/how-tos/digital-strategies/224337/what-journalists-need-to-know-about-the-power-of-code/

Categories: Personal Tags:
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