Monthly Archives: November 2017

PODCAST EPISODE #58: Carolyn Hall & Sierra Starks, hosts, Women on Deadline

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Our jobs as journalists almost always begin with listening. We listen to our communities for story ideas, our audience for feedback, and our interview subjects for a piece’s deeper meaning.

But how well do we listen to the concerns of our co-workers?

Last month the Harvey Weinstein accusations and #MeToo hashtag refocused attention on issues that have never left: sexual harassment and gender and power imbalance in the workplace. I appreciate the strength of every woman and man who has come forward. I hope their efforts do more than capture a momentary spotlight; I hope they achieve systemic change.

But change begins with communication, and I choose to point my comparatively tiny spotlight to a pair of journalists who are amplifying the voices of women in TV news.

Carolyn Hall worked for many years as an elite photojournalist. Sierra Starks has swung from magazines to TV and now reports and fill-in anchors in Monterey, California. They are the hosts of a new podcast: Women on Deadline, which emphasizes *her* experience in TV news. By Episode 3, they had tackled the challenges of solo video journalism, the issues that creep into many local newsrooms, and – in the most revealing episode for this reporter – the extension of #MeToo.

Hall and Starks join me on Episode #58 of the Telling the Story podcast.

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REPOST: The search for Evan Gattis, and the journey of journalism

The following was originally posted in 2013, when Evan Gattis was a rookie with the Atlanta Braves. This week, with the Houston Astros, he became a World Series champion.

Snooze.

I awoke to the sound of muffled radio static on the hotel room’s alarm clock. I had not bothered to find a station before I went to sleep the previous night; I was exhausted, and I doubted I would miss much by scanning the AM dial for the finest station in Abilene, Texas. I also knew I would not be listening for very long when I awoke.

Instead, I did the first thing I could think of: reach over and hit the button on top.

Snooze.

I didn’t intend to go back to sleep. I couldn’t. I was up for a reason: to drive ten hours, in one day, to interview two people, both of whom were integral to the life of Atlanta Braves catcher Evan Gattis. A month earlier, Gattis made the Braves’ Opening Day roster as a 26-year-old rookie. Two weeks after that, he was named National League Rookie of the Month.

But that was not what sent me to Texas. I had arrived in America’s second-largest state to shine the spotlight on Gattis’ other claim to fame, the story that had captivated Braves fans in Atlanta and baseball fans across the country. After completing high school and committing to Texas A&M as a highly-touted prospect, Gattis left the game and did not return for half a decade. In the meantime, he traveled the state and the country, working odd jobs at golf courses, ski resorts, and even Yellowstone National Park. He followed a spiritual advisor to New Mexico, and he lived like a nomad, on a search for purpose and identity. Gattis went on a journey, to be sure, and came out of it a Major League baseball player.

How fitting, then, that I would need to take my own journey to properly tell his story.

I got out of bed in that Abilene hotel room and took a shower. Then I heard that muffled AM static. I walked over and looked at the radio clock, flashing a time I generally only saw in the afternoon.

4:44.

I wanted to hit Snooze again. But not this time. It was time to hit the road.

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