Apr 18

I practiced media things today

Today is the fourth of April. We had more snow flurries today. For much of the day, in fact. If felt like 32 degrees this morning. Because, in April, you should still be using wind chill.

This is silly talk in the face of all of that, I know, but maybe there is hope.

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. That makes today the 50th anniversary of an important newspaper column. We talked about it on the podcast today:

Also today I talked to Raju Narisetti. He’s the CEO of the Gizmodo Media Group, and an IU grad. He’s in town for a campus-wide program and we had him in the studio for an interview today. I’m not sure when that one will get published — it takes some time — but I’ll get to share it eventually.

Apr 18

The weather is better, almost springlike even

It is warmer today, and sunny. So that’s better than yesterday. But I saw this at one of the nearby sandwich shops.

So I am not, as they say, shook.

So I went back into the studio. I played with the jib and made visual composition jokes:

No jokes here, its an important and serious and informative podcast we created today. Dominick Jean is a smart guy like that:

A late night show some of our students produced:

And their news show:

So much media!

Feb 18

Where I remember journalism class things

First the shooting in Parkland, Florida happened. And then the boycotts of businesses that do business with NRA came. And then a few of those businesses reacted, or just acted. (One can never be sure and, for our purposes here, it doesn’t matter all that much.) One of those businesses was Delta, which said they would pull their NRA travel deal.

Then, the great state of Georgia decided this was a political moment with which to motivate. So there’s this moment where one state office-holder wants another office and figures, if Delta doesn’t back NRA, I can make some hay in the next election by picking a fight with Delta.

And this impacts Delta because the carrot in this “and the stick” formulation is a $50 million gas tax chit. Georgia will vote on this sooner or later, but civic officials elsewhere aren’t wasting time, and the courting of the airline has begun.

This is the basis of today’s podcast, which features a return of one of the original way-back-when guests, my old friend and now Knight Journalism Fellow, AndrĂ© Natta.

The only problem with having Natta on this particular program is having to cut about 10 good minutes of material to keep the show in its format. That’s one of those good problems to have, really, but it doesn’t make any nicer to edit. Also, he tends to select stories that let us recycle the program several times, which is very nice.

Anyway, he’s out at Stanford just now with this fellowship, and it is the first time I’ve spoken with him in person in some time. Sounds like he’s doing well, too, plus he also met Ted Koppel today, which is one of those things you can do at these great big programs. Last week we had Diane Foley, the mother of James Foley, a freelance journalist killed in Syria, in to speak. Anthony DeCurtis, from Rolling Stone, was just in a class. So was Pat Walters, from Radiolab. That’s just the last few days around here, and just on the journalism side. Kathleen Jamieson Hall is here right now doing her usual amazing work with political communication. It was really neat to meet her this week. (As a journalist, I used to interview David Lanoue. As a grad student I studied under the great Larry Powell and Gary Copeland. You can fairly say my political science communication cup has runneth over.) Oh, and Dan Balz will be here next month. Balz is a chief correspondent at The Washington Post, where he started in 1978. He’s been covering politics there my entire life.

The only speaker I remember from my undergraduate program was a guy from the local paper and a man who was a bombardier shot down over Schweinfurt, Germany during World War II. The guy that taught us photojournalism was the biggest star they ever managed to land. And he worked there. He’d also cut his teeth in the business covering the Civil Rights Movement, the Freedom Riders and Bloody Sunday, so this was no small thing. He was far and away the best journalist we ever heard from, and he was on the faculty. And that was, for the time, a decent journalism program. Maybe its different now.

Tomorrow night I’ll hear Hall, who is the director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center for the third time this week. You might say that’s working out in my favor.

Feb 18

Then the Men in Black moved to the Bermuda Triangle

There was text here, but “they” removed it. It must be part of a larger conspiracy, which was the subject of today’s episode of the podcast. My former boss and longtime friend, Ken Booth, joined me to talk about conspiracy theories. No tinfoil hats are necessary here, but do keep an eye out for black helicopters.

And if you still haven’t been abducted by UFOs being flown by Bigfoot, go check out Ken’s projects. He’s the co-founder of, which is full of historical photos and fine prints, and of, which h as loads of great posters. We have a couple at the house; they’re high quality.

Ken hired me a lifetime ago, when I was getting out of broadcasting. He was the editor at and I worked for him as a producer for four-and-a-half years. I was always appreciative that he took me on. I learned a lot, and I was able to to be helpful to the project. We did some great stuff there, some incredibly important hurricane work and of course sports and I managed to work in some political coverage and some new storytelling features. And then I left, and he eventually moved on as well. They’ve done some other great things there since then, but it started with Ken, and those early sales and design and editorial teams. My time there served me well for what was to come later.

If it sounds like a grand scheme, it probably is.

Feb 18

Sometimes Friday is just another Thursday

I can’t tell you what this is. If I told you what this is, as the spy movie joke-cliche goes, I’d have to kill you.

Which is, of course, ludicrous. If I told you what that is I would only have to take out a reduction of your salary, powers of the purse being very humbling things, of course.

Which is also rather silly. Oh, alright, it’s a remote control. You’d only guess it from the left and right, forward and back buttons. And maybe from the peeling label, which is no longer accurate. One presumes it once was a remote that lived in some room labeled 207. Why, in the new building (which is 111-years old, mind you) there isn’t even a room numbered 207. We have a 206 and a 208. And across the hall there’s a 206A and a 209, but no 207. It sounds very Harry Potteresque, I know.

Also, I’ve never seen the door to 206A opened. No idea what’s inside. Maybe that’s where they keep all of the extra remotes. Maybe it is is a closely guarded state secret.

Anyway, tomorrow I’ll be at work, because we’re doing a Saturday event for incoming students and it will be my job to stand around and point and occasionally talk to people or plug things in when there is a need for plugging in things. I will also hand this remote and a microphone to various people. It is decidedly less Potteresque, I know.

Today on the podcast, Carley Lanich, the editor-in-chief of the campus paper, joined me once more to talk about an investigative series being produced by The Indianapolis Star.

Lanich is a very recent winner of a Hearst Award. She won a $1,500 scholarship for her investigative story that examined the university’s sexual assault investigation process. Her’s was a four-parter, and it is was an impressive thing, year-long thing. She’s a sharp young woman on her way to big things, no doubt, and I’m always glad when she comes on my little program.

Anyway, off to your weekend. Mine starts sometime tomorrow afternoon. I hear they store them in Room 207.