Using Data To Tell A Visual Story

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Data isn’t inherently visual; it’s often a bunch of numbers, facts, and figures. But when you can find a way to use that data to help tell a story, it can be unforgettable — especially here in the case of Hans Rosling. It’s a great watch from beginning to end, and it’s a reminder that no matter what industry you’re in, be sure to find the best data to help tell the greatest story you can!

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A Formula For Happiness

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happiness equals

A lot of people are looking for ways to “crack the code” on how to be happier — but one man has actually created an algorithm for it! Mo Gawdat writes about that effort in the book “Solve for Happy.” I haven’t read it yet, but based on this story from ABC’s Good Morning America (CLICK HERE TO WATCH), I hope to soon.

Remembering Mary Tyler Moore

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“Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.” 

Mary Tyler Moore passed away today; she was 80 years old.

As someone who has worked in television newsrooms throughout my whole career, I don’t know many people who haven’t been influenced — directly or indirectly — by “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Her performance as a lovable and tenacious associate news producer is easily one of the most memorable television roles of all time.

My respect for Moore went to a new level after I saw her in “Ordinary People,” a powerful and heartbreaking role that earned her a Golden Globe Award and an Oscar nomination. Sometimes comedians deliver the best dramatic performances; if you haven’t seen her in this film, you should… it’s a testament to her range and her talent.

The world is a slightly more enjoyable place thanks to what Mary Tyler Moore brought to it; her spirit, laughter, and energy will be missed.

 

 

TUESDAY TUNES: “Helplessness Blues,” Fleet Foxes

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fleet-foxes

It’s been nearly six years since the Fleet Foxes album Hopelessness Blues was released, and yet their sound and lyrics don’t seem any less poignant. I had the opportunity to see them on tour, and I’m glad to say they’re a great band to see live.

Perhaps my favorite song is the title track, which seems to address the realization that while we may not be as significant as we think, that shouldn’t diminish the passion with which we live. In fact, one website even said it may be the anthem for an entire generation.

If you haven’t taken a listen already, here are the lyrics:

Helplessness Blues

I was raised up believing I was somehow unique
Like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes, unique in each way you can see
And now after some thinking, I’d say I’d rather be
A functioning cog in some great machinery serving something beyond me
But I don’t, I don’t know what that will be
I’ll get back to you someday soon you will see
What’s my name, what’s my station, oh, just tell me what I should do
I don’t need to be kind to the armies of night that would do such injustice to you
Or bow down and be grateful and say “Sure, take all that you see, “
To the men who move only in dimly-lit halls and determine my future for me
And I don’t, I don’t know who to believe
I’ll get back to you someday soon you will see
If I know only one thing, it’s that everything that I see
Of the world outside is so inconceivable often I barely can speak
Yeah I’m tongue-tied and dizzy and I can’t keep it to myself
What good is it to sing helplessness blues, why should I wait for anyone else?
And I know, I know you will keep me on the shelf
I’ll come back to you someday soon myself
If I had an orchard, I’d work ’til I’m raw
If I had an orchard, I’d work ’til I’m sore
And you would wait tables and soon run the store
Gold hair in the sunlight, my light in the dawn
If I had an orchard, I’d work ’til I’m sore
If I had an orchard, I’d work ’til I’m sore
Someday I’ll be like the man on the screen
Songwriters: Christian Wargo / Nicholas Peterson / Robin Pecknold / Skye Skjelset / Wesley Wescott
Helplessness Blues lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

MONDAY MOVIES: “The Paper”

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CREDIT: wikipedia.org

I’m not sure how I’ve worked in journalism for as long as I have without seeing “The Paper,” but I’m glad that I recently did! The film provides a fictional day in the life of a newspaper editor, played by Michael Keaton. You immediately get a glimpse at the pressures of the job, the difficulty of the work/life balance, his passion for his industry — and how he copes with it all.

Of course, the movie wouldn’t be complete without the performances of other veteran actors like Glenn Close, Robert Duvall, and Marissa Tomei. Together, they help highlight some of the challenges that historically have (and will continue to) face journalists: Deadlines, corporate budgets, and finding the most relevant stories and delivering them to their audience.

The movie isn’t new; it was released in 1994. Despite its age and a media landscape that looks radically different now, “The Paper” still seems topical: Journalists will always have the enormous responsibility of finding and relaying information that impacts the communities where we live. And this film shows, over the course of one day, some of the people and processes that help make that possible.

Election Night 2016

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I wanted to share just how proud I was of the 23ABC/KERO-TV team this past Tuesday, November 8, 2016. This slideshow represents moments throughout the evening in order: Crew members posing for a picture just before a special 3 p.m. newscast (NOTE: these were just the folks there at the time; we had about twice that many people working that day); one of our reporters practicing on our touchscreen monitor; the anchors during a special webcast; and members of the team watching Donald Trump’s victory speech (as you can see on the clock, just before midnight on the West Coast).

I’m so grateful to be part of this team. I’m proud of how we delivered critical information to our viewers in innovative ways before, during, and after the election. And by all accounts, it was a success on many levels.

America will no doubt continue to experience growing pains as we make the transition from one president to another. I’m honored to be a journalist, and I look forward to the continued challenge and responsibility of keeping the public informed and engaged. And I’m happy to be doing that with this talented group.