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Millennials Will (?) Change The World

By on Jan 11, 2015 in Featured, Professional | 0 comments

Everytime I engage with a large group of Millenials, the kids confirm many of the stereotypes tossed at them by Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. But it’s also easy to spot the positives of said stereotypes.

Baker’s Dozen: Missing The Utah Legislature

By on Jan 28, 2013 in Politics | 0 comments

With the Utah Legislature opening its annual session today, here’s a list of things I will (legitimately) miss about covering it.

Farewell (Trucker’s Atlas)

By on May 19, 2012 in Journalism, Philosophical | 0 comments

The road trip ends like this: peacefully and without long farewells. It ends with the car limping home, beer cans littering the floor, pretzel dust coating the seats. It ends as it began, accidentally and unintentionally and entirely dictated by the road. After 15 years as a journalist, it ends like this: peacefully and without long farewells. I leave a business sputtering into the future, with my fingers ink-stained and beer cans mingling with bylines on the newsroom floor. It ends as it began, accidentally and unintentionally and entirely dictated by the road. Recollections bounce past me like super balls in a stairwell, erratic and fast and generally indistinguishable. That’s not to say I consider my time spent committing news a waste, because there are sources of pride among the thousands of stories I’ve written. In fact, I have no regrets about my first chosen career path. “Where next?” you ask, and I shrug. Pause. Pull out the trucker’s atlas, flip through the pages. “Options,” I say, and it’s true. Ahead the roads lead … elsewhere. Away from here. Here … is not a place. It is a mindset. The path I’ve followed is no longer. That’s not to say I won’t write, create, engage. That’s not to say I won’t tell stories. It’s just to say that the hitchhiker named News that I picked up years ago and allowed to navigate has reached the end of my line. Many have preceded me in their departure from the business, and too many of them were forced by circumstances that overwhelmed them. Luckily, I have remained in control of my future and ultimately decided to leave journalism because I considered my family life first. I wanted the flexibility to coach my sons in whatever sport they play, to travel with my wife more, to relax on my weekends without obsessively checking Twitter and my email. I got into journalism because I love telling stories, and on occasion it afforded me that opportunity. I still love telling stories, and I am grateful that as I move forward I can continue to pursue that passion as a hobby and professionally. I also hope to once again write, on occasion, for an audience of one (me) where the rules are ignored, if only for a moment in time. Farewell, news. The road awaits. “It is the beginning of wisdom when you recognize that the best you can do is choose which rules you want to live by, and it’s persistent and aggravated imbecility to pretend you can live without any.” — Wallace Stegner, Angle of...

Six Pack on the Dashboard: Journalism

By on Sep 26, 2011 in Journalism, Six Pack Updates | 0 comments

Free on-the-go reporting and free GIS tools. Free apps for journalists. Free yourself to fail. Plus, second-screen battles the business side of hyperlocal news sites. Here’s six articles that won’t waste your time, especially if you’re a journalist. 1. Mapping the News: Geotagging news stories is a capability I wish I knew more about and something I wish I could utilize more often. This is a nice write-up of some introductory tools that I aspire to dabble in soon. 2. Chicago Tribune Tools: List and links of open-source apps and programs developed by Chicago Tribune staffers. 3. Think Small: The problem for many start-ups, especially those with localized missions and little funding, is thinking too big. This is a nice essay about why “small ball” strategies that build on early successes are important. 4. Second Screen: Strategies for winning the “second screen,” which is whatever people use to supplement a viewing or reading experience — i.e., checking stats on the smartphone while watching a football game. 5. Hyperlocal Biz: The founder of Spot.us joins UC-Berkeley j-school staff to help their hyperlocal news sites with biz development. He about the challenges and possibilities. 6. Spotting news: 10,000 Words highlights a cool app (iOS and Android) that allows people to report news while out and about, including location, multimedia and other news reports in the area. It’s called meporter, and it’s pretty cool. Blog post is here and video is embedded...

Open Container Update: Shine A Light

By on Aug 24, 2010 in Six Pack Updates | 0 comments

“She just loves me for my big dictionary.” —Faster Pussycat In their continued push to “spread light” and attract a national audience, the Deseret News announced Monday night that they have appointed an “editorial advisory board” made up of 13 “thought leaders” who also have vast experience being appointed to boards. Initially, the announcement confused readers, especially anyone not drunk, stoned or filled with the spirit. However, after a Don Draper-esque morning with a bottle of Bushmill’s and conversations with many poorly-placed staffers at the newspaper — including the Spanish-speaking cleaning staff and ghosts of journalists past — I have confirmed that, in fact, the paper is actually planning a reality show contest for the 13 “thought leaders.” The winner will become the next star blogger, writing “The Bear Hug” blog to complement their current shining star, “The Big Lever.” The losers, on the other hand, will be asked to serve on the next Governor’s Commission on Ethics, which will meet once at an undisclosed Sizzler and never be heard from again. Sources tell me that the show will be a mix of every great reality show/contest and general conference. Each contestant was selected based on a pre-conceived stereotype, as is required with all reality shows. The very helpful “Letter to Readers” gives a hint to some of those stereotypes, using the limited space for the “thought leaders'” biographies to highlight their religious affiliation and, wherever possible (limited though it is), alert readers that the “thought leader” is not white. Additionally, a great Google map demonstrates that the “thought leaders” come from all over the country and a separate batch of hyperlinks helps direct readers to, primarily, the hard-to-find Wikipedia. According to my sources, all of whom have been loosened up with whatever Bushmills was still in my desk, the contest will follow typical reality show fare. Each week, the “thought leaders” will compete in challenges like Seth Godin or Book of Mormon trivia quizzes, Jell-o shot competitions, hymn-singing showdowns, the obscurely-named “editing for lightness” speed round, group dates with Mark Willes and, every week, the final “blog off.” At the end of the week, the Quorum of the Twelve and a bonus celebrity judge (typically a Mormon with reality show experience — don’t worry, there are plenty of them) will decide which “thought leader” gets sent to Sizzler. The rest will stay for another week of light-spreading frivolity. Not surprisingly, the announcement of the advisory board and follow-up buzz about a “thought leader” reality show has been exactly what was needed to lift the morale of the newspaper’s staffers. It’s that kind of forward-looking management that will surely push the newspaper to remain a premier source of news on a local and national scale. In other news: Governor’s Race: Peter Corroon announces an education plan with stiffer education requirements. Gov. Gary Herbert says that Corroon lacks credibility since he sent his children to private school. Excellent idea, guv. From here on out, nobody can amend liquor laws unless they drink. And so forth.  Education, Part Deux:  Completed unrelated, today Herbert hosted Jeb Bush’s speech about how to improve the state’s education system. However, Bush’s two sons (at least) went to private school so you can all ignore his advice. Punishing Pregnancy:  Sen. Dan Liljenquist, R-Bountiful, says that his suggestions to stop covering epidurals or c-sections for Medicaid recipients was only “informal.” Well, senator, everything done during interim committees is technically informal. The fact you said it, however, makes it newsworthy. Sorry. Also, new rule: Unless someone has actually been pregnant, it borders on hypocritical for them to pass any law regarding pregnancy. Punishing Smokers:  Tobacco sales are down, but revenue still sees an uptick after the “not a tax increase” increase in the tobacco tax kicked in July 1. Another new rule: Unless somebody has actually smoked, it borders on hypocritical for them to pass any laws or not-taxes on tobacco. Punishing Pot: The D-News’ Josh Smith (no relation) gets all Rambo on an apparent embed with marijuana troops. New rule: Nobody can make any laws about anything without taking at least one bong rip. Trust me, the world would be a better place. The Open Container Update is published every weekday, unless I get stoned and forget....

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