The Truth Is Out There

  It was July 1997. A hot, humid night like all of the others in a Fort Worth, Texas summer. My friend and coworker, Anita, and I were enjoying a night out at the AMC Palace 9, the newest downtown movieplex, packed elbow to elbow in front of the largest screen the theatre had, the … Continue reading


Exploring truth in storytelling through The X Files’ Bad Blood

I was recently discussing what it is to tell a truth, to write about truth, in story telling with some other writers. We talked about the possibilities for multiple truths to co-exist, the possibility of believing something making it feel true and other such writerly arguments that you’d find in a Creative Nonfiction Writing Workshop. … Continue reading

tv candle by me

Ode to TV News

You’re brave and strong and gutsy You’re fierce, thoughtful and wise You’re jaded and harsh and a punch in the stomach You’re a jab in the eye and a dart in the throat You can be so much to so many people You can truly make a difference in this world You shine a light … Continue reading

keyboard shot by me

Chasing Connections Down Rabbit Holes of Inspiration

I love the internet. I love how it connects things I didn’t even know were connectable. In a few keystrokes I am down a rabbit hole chasing ghosts and echos of words, thoughts, ideas gone by but not forgotten. An example: I decided to do a little research on a movie (Midnight in Paris) and … Continue reading


Top 125 movies everyone should watch

Talking with students in various classes of mine recently, I’ve noticed that far too many young, cool people haven’t seen so many awesome classic films. So with that, I share my current list of 125 films everyone should see. Let the debate begin of what else to add! movies everyone should see, in no particular … Continue reading

surving underwater

On being inspired to write (and report) people’s stories

I am inspired today. And I have news and journalism to thank yet again. And I want to share the trigger to my excitement with the world. It’s an amazing story that deserves the word amazing, when most things we read that have that word attached to them probably aren’t. But this is: A man … Continue reading


Breaking Bad’s Story Design Applied to Journalism

Check out this great article from Inside the Story Magazine: It sounds pretty much like “New Journalism” to me. And great ideas for all types of storytellers… though a team that large working on any one story is pretty rare in the “news” biz – but why not use this as a classroom approach! (Sundance … Continue reading


Dear News, Please consider rebranding yourself

Dear #News, I advise you to read the following report on you and your likeness:   Now, I’d like to point out that we can change this by showing your importance to society AND by being better everyday, giving people news they need disguised as news they want. Let’s give them a reason to want … Continue reading


What makes a good TV News Story?

What makes a good TV News story? Click the small photo above to see my presentation or click HERE. Let me know if you’d add anything else and why. Also check out my presentation Finding News Stories HERE. And my presentation the Video Story Process HERE.

What does j-school need to be?

There is lots of talk on what j-schools need to be, should be, shouldn’t be and could be. Take, for example, this new article: in response to articles like this: No matter which school you are in, I believe we can all agree on this quote from the new Nieman Lab piece: “The important thing for … Continue reading

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Snow Fall and The Jockey

There once was a little newspaper who thought big and tried new things. Overtime, they started a following. It turns out that solid reporting, interesting stories, and innovation was what “the people” wanted. Enter The New York Times multimedia stories “Snow Fall” and “The Jockey.” Read/watch/investigate them here, if you haven’t already: It is … Continue reading


Three books journalists/writers should read this summer

Looking for something quick, enjoyable – yet deep and worthy of reflection this summer (or anytime)? Here are three I recommend that will make your life better, or at least help you appreciate it more… 1. Late Edition: A Love Story by Bob Greene This book is an ode to journalism and an interesting look … Continue reading

camp nanowrimo

Write On! Get creative this July with Camp NaNoWriMo

Need a little help getting your creative juices flowing and charging up your outlook on life? Start writing! Join me at Camp NaNoWriMo from July 1-31, 2013 and write your first book! It’s free and fun – so why not make your summer one to remember in words. Writing anything helps all of your writing … Continue reading


How do you write?

I was recently asked – how do you write? This is my process: It happens in a split second like flipping a switch. I go into automatic pilot. Words flow out of my fingers letter by letter onto keys. Somehow, perhaps by some sort of yet-to-be-discovered-magic, a story forms. My mind has taken in information … Continue reading website screen grab April 17 5:05pm (Pacific) now with no race mentioned.

Traditional media need to show they’re valuable every day, not just in times of crisis

There is no doubt to me in times of crisis all media – from traditional to social – can be valuable, important and relative. The audience reach via the web and social media is tremendous, The Globe’s YouTube video on the Boston Marathon bombings proves that. (According to a colleague of mine the video had … Continue reading

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The State of TV News from Pew – 2013: It’s not good.

TV news industry professionals know too well that the state of the industry isn’t looking so hot: “Local TV finds itself newly vulnerable.  Local TV audiences were down across every key time slot and across all networks in 2012. And the off-peak news hours like 4:30 a.m. that stations had been adding for years seem … Continue reading

social media icons row design blob

Who is using social media and how can that information help you

As in all other media, knowing your audience is a key to success. By doing some research into who you can reach on social media, how they are influenced, etc… you can create your work with them in mind and find greater success. A few recent reports to help get you started: Pew Research Center’s … Continue reading

When looking for local story ideas, consider ones that drive social media engagement

When looking for local story ideas, consider ones that drive social media engagement. So, what kinds of local stories drive engagement? Read the results of an NPR Facebook experiment: …Think of these things when coming up with story ideas for best results in spreading online. Don’t forget to include a link to your website with the story … Continue reading

How To: Learn about Social Media Strategy

A collection of social media articles that will get you started on a successful social media strategy. I’ve gathered these for the social media classes I teach. Social Media General: What kinds of local stories drive engagement? The results of an NPR Facebook experiment How to create a fan community: Becoming a Social Media Star … Continue reading

A few links for journalism students (and journalists)

Here are a few links students interested in journalism can learn a lot and get connected. (Also applicable for all journalists, if you aren’t already into these sources, check them out)… Twitter’s best practices for journalists guide: Twitter for Newsrooms: Facebook for journalists: MuckRack – Register your Twitter once you are a prof journalist, watch the Twitterings of … Continue reading


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