Ben’s free flights and journalism ethics

Bomb--Arvin61r58

Bomb clip art by Arvin61r58

Interviews are minefields for sources. And the resulting articles? Almost too fickle and frightening to contemplate. At least that’s the view taken by the subject of a Rolling Stone feature who I’ve been reading about lately.

Ben Schlappig’s reaction to major media attention shows the one-two punch of trepidation and surprise that only a savvy source can experience. He describes being cautious taking part in the reporting process for Ben Wofford’s piece, and expecting to emerge either more flattered than he expected or woefully disappointed at the portrayal. The maelstrom of coverage—most of it piggybacking on the RS coverage (see here, here, here, and here)—also got me thinking about journalism ethics.

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What I’m Consuming: Rosé wine

A glass held at a slant being filled with rose wine

A glass of rosé by Samantha from Scotland, via Wikimedia Commons


Reading is fun, but so is drinking wine. So to mix up my What I’m Consuming series, I’m going to talk about rosé.

According to a wine expert I just interviewed for an article, rosé is a great go-to wine for summer.

Wait, you may be saying. Isn’t that what ’80s housewives lounging by their California pools drink?

Nope, you’re thinking of white zinfandel.  Which is different, and to which you have sommeliers’ permission to turn up your nose. There are apparently several other things you should know about rosé, which include that it’s not a mixture of red and white wines (rather, it’s a wine where the grape skins have had a limited amount of time to macerate in the grape juice). It’s also good with barbecue. I’ll be trying it with a white bean panzanella.

So I picked up a Chateau Montaud Cotes de Provence rosé, which clocked in at $12 and seemed like a good entry-level pink wine.

But you don’t have to worry about brands. Just know that I, via my actually knowledgeable source, recommend it. Grab a bottle, pop it in your fridge, take it back out to warm up a bit to the right temperature, and consume a chilled sip of summer.

Cheers and Shabbat shalom!

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Screenings and a panel in New York

…and in other news…

It’s been an active month for the Videofreex. Building on a successful debut in North Carolina, “Here Come the Videofreex” made the rounds in New York last week. In between showings in Brooklyn and Rosendale, the Brooklyn Museum hosted the screening and discussion Videofreex and Feminism: “Bumps on a Level Playing Field”.

I attended the Rosendale Theatre screening, seeing the final cut of the film for the first time. I couldn’t have been more proud of what this energetic band accomplished, or of filmmakers Jon Nealon and Jenny Raskin, who spent a decade on the movie. Naturally, we received the royal treatment.

Red Rosendale Theatre seats with signs taped to them: Seats in the first rows of the Rosendale Theatre await the Videofreex and guests. The signs read “RESERVED FOR FREEX.”

Jon conjured the…

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Publication: The DC garden boom in Civil Eats

Screen shot 2015-06-30 at 10.55.44 AM

I have a piece in the fine publication Civil Eats! I’m proud to bring news of DC’s urban agriculture boom to a national audience.

Check it out: An Urban Farming Renaissance in Our Nation’s Capital

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Dispatch from the New Paltz Peace Park

Mom walks across the Peace Park bridge with her red umbrella.

Mom walks across the Peace Park bridge with her red umbrella.

Peace feels so far away. On June 17, a gunman killed nine people in Charleston, SC. I can’t imagine sitting in a place of worship and experiencing that violence from a stranger. I can’t fathom the kind of hatred that leads to sitting among people you don’t know, then ending their lives.  It shows privilege and a blindness that I’m so shocked.

Last Sunday, the community remembered them together. Continue reading

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Publication: Pressure Point Therapy in O

Oprah magazine July 2015

Look who’s in the July issue of O the Oprah Magazine!  In the A-Z guide to relaxation for the busy woman, I explain (veeeery briefly) how P is for pressure point therapy. Check out page 104.

It was a pleasure to work with editors Elyse Moody and Molly Simms on this, and to draw on the expertise of Cat Matlock.

 

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What I’m Consuming: Home Fires Burning by Karen Houppert

Book cover: Home Fires Burning It seems fitting to finish Home Fires Burning: Married to the Military–for Better or Worse on Memorial Day.  And that’s what I did. Considering my last What I’m Consuming post* was a while ago, I’m also due for another one. So here it goes.   What it is and why it’s here This is a book of nonfiction by a writer I respect, who spends years researching her books.** She is also the daughter of a U.S. Air Force pilot. Home Fires Burning weaves together portraits of, as Houppert puts it, “women who straddle the military world–one foot on post, one foot in the civilian sector.” Most of the interviews took place on an army base in New York. But each personal story reifies a larger narrative–about war widows, domestic violence, the economics of military jobs, political dissent. Though Houppert is a seasoned journalist, the picture she paints is far from neutral. The book takes a critical angle on military practices, especially when it comes to spouses and children of the enlisted. The stories highlight hypocrisy on the bases and in the military in general. Continue reading

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Group work sucks

What students tell me: Group work sucks. What I do about it: Assign a group project. The big secret in all of this? They produce great stuff.

Here’s a video one of my classes put together in April. It’s part of a website highlighting Gallaudet University clubs that have gone quiet — lost clubs that the students felt should “be heard.”

 

The group project is a required exercise in a general studies course I teach to first-year college students.

Sometimes, the project goes well. Most of the time, though… well, it devolves into disarray and misery. We research best practices in team work and project management and discuss the exasperating moments. When the stress climbs toward freak-out levels, I remind them that the project grade weighs about as much as a flea in the overall score for the course. Continue reading

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Publication: DC’s Airbnb hosts on Elevation DC

New perspectives, spoken word, and beer recommendations. These aren’t your average DC hotels–or your average hosts–in my latest piece for Elevation DC:

screen shot of an article

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Eat the big frog

 

frog on a tree branch

Australian Green
Tree Frog by LiquidGhoul. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Caerulea3_crop.jpg#/media/File:Caerulea3_crop.jpg

If forced to eat one of two frogs, most of us would choose the smaller one. I’m proud of three students who, when given the choice between a written and a video essay for their midterm, went for the biggest, ugliest croaking mass of yuck and bit right in.

Two new signers (one of whom was also an iMovie neophyte) resolved to go the video/ASL route. The third student is articulate and sharp–in person, in ASL. Writing, though? Not his favorite thing.

They each did well. And the best part is that we’re all on spring break now!

I hope to follow up with each of these students, to ask for their reactions. I suspect the frogs weren’t as slimy as they expected.

 

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