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Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category
01 Feb

The journalists’ (and my) struggle is real

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NOTE: Let’s get this cleared and out of the way. I am not a typical journalist. I don’t have a regular byline nor do I have a media company having to deal with angry voices that value perception more than reality. So, these thoughts are “easier” for me to express than others in our industry. I’ll also add, these are just my thoughts… often thinking, speaking or tweeting out loud as I try to grapple how I fit in the world around me.

BACKSTORY
This wasn’t a new internal debate I’ve been having. In fact, since the middle of the primaries, I’ve been asking myself – and any journalist who would let me bend their ear – the question about how I, or we, as a journalist am feeling about the the tone and coverage as the country began to select the next president.

I, as someone who aims to be an informed citizen, couldn’t tell what was real. I didn’t know what was fact or what was “fake news.”

And, to get this on the record, this concern wasn’t limited to one candidate. In the end, both the Democratic and Republican candidates had some significant flaws that should force any voting citizen a moment to pause.

But, let’s also be honest, one candidate said and behaved contrary to some fundamental beliefs I hold dear. I am unapologetically against racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia and anything that leads to discrimination of others.

I, like I believe many people have, have always thought about “what would I have done” if… if there were a robbery, would I be a hero? If I saw police brutality what would I do? And, the ultimate hypothetical scenario, if I were around the time of Hitler, would I do something to speak up and defend the Jews.

I am also a Catholic (although I do not agree with many of the church’s political stance) and this past Sunday’s set of readings really affected me as President Trump’s executive order banning the travel of Muslim immigrants was happening.

All this got me to tweet. Not saying it was a good or bad decision, but here they are with some context.

I keep my faith to myself. I hate preachy people. But I thought there was hypocrisy and discrimination with the Muslim Ban and these readings really called it out.

I then tweeted out quotes from the readings, which I will spare you. But here is Tweet 2, 3, 4 and 5 in the series.

This was the tweet that would spark a Poynter piece about this struggle.

This is the moment where I went off my planned topic and decided to be more open and share my struggle with our current reality.

There were lots of “likes,” retweets and replies, including this one from Joshua Johnson.

This led to an exchange with Katie Hawkins-Gaar of Poynter, who asked if she could use my tweets for a piece she’d write based on this struggle many of us seem to be facing.

That led to this:

I will admit, I was and still am nervous for sharing. I took a risk in exposing myself. So far I haven’t gotten in trouble.

But others aren’t so lucky.

Lewis Wallace wrote about his struggle in this new reality too. But he was then fired from his job at Marketplace.

Clearly I disagree with this move.

I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know this is something we need to discuss and examine. This is happening. This is a reality. This isn’t something we can simply ignore or kick out of our newsrooms. This is the time for journalism to embrace the diversity of perspectives from every side and find a way to factor them into our coverage, ethically and transparently.

This is part of the new journalism, and it’s going to get uncomfortable and messy.

I am ready. Are you?

Categories: Culture, Personal, Rant, Twitter Tags:
22 Nov

From Glass to Spectacles: A kid’s POV

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Over the weekend I was able to secure a pair of the Snapchat’s Spectacles (formerly Epiphany Eyewear for wearable nerds with a memory) and have been putting it through its paces.

I have had a past with testing out wearable glasses before.

In testing them, I let my kid give them w spin too.

Here’s video my son captured while drawing — it’s circular video because of the unique (and pretty cool) Snapchat circular format:

For context, here’s video of my son playing while wearing Google Glass:

12 Feb

#wjchat: Five years of thank you

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instagram-wjchat

It’s crazy to think that every Wednesday for the past five years, the Web/Digital community has come together for 90 minutes on Twitter to talk about their craft, sharing their knowledge and experiences.

The most important thing I cherish about #wjchat is the community.

I am grateful to be a part of it.

The next important thing I cherish is the incredible team of volunteers who, over the years, make this weekly miracle happen, often from behind the scenes.

Your past and current team #wjchat crew members are:

(I hope to god I haven’t left anyone off the list… if so, please contact me!)

And, of course, there are countless people who have supported our weekly efforts along the way.

Thank you to each and every one of you. Here’s to five more years and temporary tattoos that are a bitch to take off!

Note: You can read about the making of #wjchat here: http://blog.webjournalist.org/2010/02/27/the-birth-of-wjchat/

06 Feb

The inspirational quote mystery

There are a million Robert Hernandezes in this world.

I should know, I’ve been accidentally confused with nearly half of them.

Some are tattoo artists and some are journalists (not to be confused with these Hernandi)… some have financial “issues,” some have children they’ve “forgotten,” some have arrest warrants based on interesting life choices that can pop up in background checks.

I’ve been put in awkward situations multiple times because my namesakes make bad decisions. (Ask me about Marisa sometime.)

I thought I would stand out when I became a professor at a prestigious university.

That lasted a few months until I got email for Professor Robert Hernandez from another school on campus. (The school actually added me to their faculty listserv!)

Like everyone, I google myself and I even have a Twitter search for “Robert Hernandez.”

Dude, some of them are creeps.

But the most dominate one on Twitter is known for this quote:

“It’s not about having the skill to do something. It’s about having the will, desire & commitment to be your best. -Robert Hernandez”

It’s an inspirational quote that gets tweeted every hour, every day and I have no clue which one of the namesake said it.

So, I googled.

And haven’t found anything.

I did find this site that collects quotes from people and makes them Pinterest-style images.

While the site had a couple from Robert Hernandez, I feel like this one is the most appropriate:

robert-hernandez-quote-i-havent-the-slightest-idea-who-he-is (1)

Whoever he is, I do agree with Robert Hernandez’ inspirational quote… so, I’d like to be credited with this one:

“‘It’s not about having the skill to do something. It’s about having the will, desire & commitment to be your best. -Robert Hernandez’ -Robert Hernandez”

 

//// UPDATE: This happened

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 7.56.06 AM

https://twitter.com/santabantaquote/status/576362959934345216

Categories: Personal, Social Media, Twitter Tags:
29 Aug

Change the ratio! But I’m auditing myself first

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NOTE: A version of this post ran on PBS MediaShift on Oct. 10, 2014. Lessons Learned from a #GenderAudit on Twitter

If I follow you on Twitter, you may have noticed that I’ve have added you to a Twitter list: Male or Female.

There’s also a private list for People of Color*.

Before you freak out, let me explain what I am trying to do.

A few weeks back I heard a great segment on On The Media with Buzzfeed writer Katie Notopoulos, who created a holiday called Unfollow a Man Day. The piece originally aired on the tl;dr podcast.

Check it out:

This ‘holiday’ came from Notopoulos’ decision from realizing she was following a ton of dudes on Twitter, rather than other females.

She explains it here: Why I Created The #UnfollowAMan Movement

Anyway, that got me thinking… for about a year, I have consciously been trying to diversify who I follow on Twitter.

I never want to be caught in an echo chamber, and I have learned that I get a beneficial edge when I hear outside voices, instead of hearing the same people from within the journalism industry.

But while my diverse follow was a conscious act, I still don’t know if I have struck the right balance.

So, why not find out?

And that’s where these lists come it.

By going through the 960+ people I follow and doing an inventory, I can achieve a couple of things:

1- What is my actual ratio? If I am preaching diversity and parity, am I practicing it too? I don’t know, and that’s what I am looking to find out. This self-experiment really is an audit.

2- In the interview with Notopoulos, she said she realized that some stories that were seen as newsworthy coming from “Twitter buzz,” were only a buzz for men. Meaning, because she followed dudes, dudes’ topics dominated. For me, inversely, I want to see what topics are not buzzing in my stream… or who is it buzzing with.

There is such a thing as Black Twitter. Latino Twitter, non-English Twitter… but most users don’t know (or care) because they follow people and communities they know… or reflect their experiences.

Side note: I wrote this post at 11:30PM-ish, because some people were weirded out by being added to a list. And one person, I feel, began to project some assumptions on what I am trying to do… hence this quick post.

But, let me be clear… just like Twitter, this is for me. I use Twitter for a tool that benefits my knowledge. And now I am using Twitter lists to benefit me as well. I am dying to know the results of this self-imposed audit and see if I can spot any patterns. I am coming in with NO ASSUMPTIONS, open to whatever results may come.

And, for the record, I don’t care if this is scientific or not. This is me grouping subjective follows along gender lines and see if anything emerges. I’m a hackademic, not an academic.

Now, after reading this post, I want to invite/challenge you to do the same thing. Find out if your stream is skewed by following one community more than another… hell, find out if you have a bias. Let me know if you try this thing… and, of course, feel free to share your thoughts on what I am doing. I’m trying to be open and transparent… and I am coming with good intentions.

UPDATE: At 12:21AM, I renamed my lists to be Gender Audit Proj: Female and Gender Audit Proj: Male, to be clearer on what I am doing.

NOTE: I started this “self-experiment” late this evening on a whim… and my brain is turning into mush as I add *everyone* to a list… so I assume I have made some errors. If you spot one, please let me know… thank you!

* The People of Color list is currently set to private, because there is a chance I add or leave out someone accidently and I don’t mean to offend.

// UPDATE & ADDITION (5/14/15)
A student recently told me about TWEE-Q, which analyzes which gender you retweet more. If you think about, having a balanced gender feed is a great step, but how you engage with the feed is an important metric.

What’s the point of following a balance if you only engage with one side?

So, I ran my Twitter name through the web app and got this result:
Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 10.49.04 AM

“@webjournalist retweeted 48% men and 52% women.” I am proud of this result!

// OTHER AUDITS
Feel free to tweet me your audit results as well!

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

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.

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:
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.

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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