September 3, 2010
I actually remember not too long ago when anything in the Washington Post print edition that was written by a washingtonpost.com reporter had to have the caveat “Special to the Washington Post” at the tail end of the piece. These two newsrooms were entirely separate entities, and it was the one with the .COM address at the end that was treated like the red-headed step-child.
How times have changed…and the ground has shifted under our feet over the last decade. Bets are now placed on how long the delivery model can survive.
As much as I love the daily morning ritual of retrieving my Post from the driveway (and yes I immediately pull out the Style section while I recycle Sports and Metro), it’s now online where I find and share the columns, stories and photo series that capture my attention the longest. Yes the Post still has the Loudoun insert, but if they’re smart, they’ll start putting more contributed content online from the region’s readers as well.
WUSA 9 , DC’s CBS affiliate, is starting to do that… If i can get my act together, I will soon start blogging for the hyperlocal Leesburg, Ashburn, and Reston communities – of more than 50 communities around DC where WUSA 9 is gathering news and content. In Ashburn, for instance, it’s everything from Donald Trump’s opening of (what was once) Lowes Island Golf Course to Redskins training camp… even a crime report from the local Subway shop.
Not that you need more proof, but even USA Today is at it again… completely overhauling its newsroom to center around content hubs… Chris O’Brien of the “Next Newsroom Project” captures the shift in his blog.
Could there be a more exciting time to work in media, even PR? No way! ”Publish or die” now haunts everyone, every day. Today’s newsroom is really just the corner Starbucks.
February 10, 2010
I teased my colleague Kathy this morning that, with that adorable little 3 year old she brought back from Russia, she also brough unending WINTER!
Not since New Years weekend of 1996 do I remember getting snowed in for so long…and with so many house guests on top of our 4 roomies. The mid 90s were the days of our 20s! When that snowstorm hit, it was my first year of DC group house single living – My BFF Missie and I, who had just moved to DC from Lancaster, our high school buddy T (who, since moving on to LA is now “Shad”), his girlfriend (announced to us on move-in day) Wendy, all of us living in a McLean couple’s home for a few years while they were overseas.
On that fateful holiday, trapped with us for days, given the icy blast and the trecherous road conditions, were Jere, Hoyt, and Jim and Kate….all faithful friends from PA who had not planned to stay all week in Virginia. I don’t remember how much we shoveled that weekend. I do remember pasta dinners and drinking games, scrabble challenges, movies and phone calls to see if the PA roads had opened. I remember us getting sick of each other too (“How the heck can Jere sleep til noon?!”). Nevertheless, the weekend was etched in our minds. And, still friends, as we gathered over this past Christmas holiday to catch up, we recounted that 96 blizzard with the whitewashed sort of fondness that time brings.
Today, our blizzard day lives are quite different. In our household, we wake to snow at 6 AM, not 10. Usually the first words out of the mouths of babes are ”Mama, are we going to school today?” Followed by long hugs, wishes for cereal (or chicken nuggets) for breakfast, and then the making of a to-do list for the day. There are snow day playdates, attempts at helping Daddy shovel, and slides down the driveway…
For me, there’s a little more time to read.. especially the work of two columnists writing about men and shoveling “it” — from different perspectives….
Ruth Marcus, continuing her unique view (which I”ve agreed with before) on the heroine Jenny Sanford, in light of Jenny’s book. She rightly lambasts Mr. Sanford as a cad (putting it nicely), and blasts Jenny for sticking around as long as she did. There is a lot hereto ponder on a cold snowy day, given what we want to believe about “til death do us part” and redeption. Whether you’re Hillary Clinton, Jenny Sanford or Elizabeth Edwards, the path you must follow is probably not framed in Vegas lights.
On a lighter note, Kathleen Parker has a refreshing and interesting take on men, why we want them, and how the shovels of 2010 have unearthed many innate desires to demonstrate worth.
Happy snow and happy reading!
January 15, 2009
As an impressionable 21 year old, way back in early 1992, I had my very first college PR internship in DC at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. As luck would have it, I arrived at the perfect time — the overhaul of the First Lady Exhibition. The most popular exhibition at the museum had the gowns, dresses, even jewelry of the nation’s First Ladies (not all wives, mind you) — I loved to stop and just admire it all — from Nancy Reagan’s red suit to Jackie O’s little pillbox hats. I even remember meeting then-First Lady Barbara Bush, ever gracious and funny. She joined us to cut the ribbon on this exhibition, which took a first step in looking beyond just the gowns to also showcase the important roles that each First Lady played in their leading man’s presidency and for the nation.
So, here we are at the dawn of a new presidency. A new opportunity for another very special woman to put her mark on the role of First Lady and present an important image not only to American daughters but to the world. What is one of the first ways she will do that — by choosing an inaugural gown. Maybe it sounds silly to speak in such symbolism, but I’ve taken a few cues from Robyn Givhan and heck, I’ve watched “The Devil Wears Prada” so i know the message that fashion sends!
So, I for one, have been watching with anticipation to see when we’ll get introduced (my money is on this Sunday the 18th) to the designer of and the gown itself that our incoming First Lady, Michelle Obama, will be wearing for the evening inauguration festivities here in Washington.
There has been so much written already about her style (or lack thereof, according to some). How she’s still figuring it out… how Mr. de la Renta, who’s enjoyed such promenence not only with Laura Bush, but with Cindy McCain, will likely not be the sylist of choice. As classic, stunning, and flawless are de la Renta’s creations, Michelle (we’re on a first name basis!) is more likely to take chances, try a variety of young up and coming designers — Maria Pinto of Chicago or even stick again with Narciso Rodriguez, who designed the election nightdress she wore.
Robyn Givhan, who will most likely be the one who gets the big news first, is already driving the discussion around what “The Dress” could look like. In Sunday’s edition of the Style section, Givhan announced the winners and entrants in the “Formalwear Design Contest” to design Michelle Obama’s gown. The winner…..a sleek deep green gown, symbolizing what else, “Hope, Optimism.”
By a budding fashion designer, Katie Ermelio, this dress is gorgeous, even if this is not what we see next week…
For the record, I have actually liked how Michelle Obama has taken chances with her fashion choices. Maybe she hasn’t always gotten it right, but she will bring some new names, styles and statements to the White House. I can’t wait to watch…..
January 3, 2009
I am not an expert on the Middle East. But I have been there. In Jerusalem; in the West Bank. That alone doesn’t really give me any credibility. What it does give me is sympathy. For both sides, actually, in this current conflict around the Gaza strip. Because as much as we’d like to make it a cut and dry Hamas vs. Israeli conflict, it is and it isn’t.
For the most part, i agree with the Krauthammer AND Gerson editorials in today’s Washington Post — if there was ever directional moral clarity, it is clearly shining through this week. Hamas is a terrorist organization. Period. They put their own people, the Palestinian people, at risk of death, to further their own organizational ends. Contrast this disregard for Palestinian human life with the humane warnings of the impending strike, which the Israelis have given citizens of Gaza prior to the strikes this week. Apparently, and rightly so, Israel is fed up with having many of its citizens live in constant fear of missile attacks.
It is inconcevable to me that Hamas is in a position of power. Save Iran, most of the Arab states don’t know what to do with the situation from a positioning point of view. The cannot publicly support Hamas, yet they still seek many of the key goals to which the Palestinians have held strong for decades — land, access, sovereignty. Its incredibly unfortunate that some of the long term goals of the Palestinians — goals around access to Jerusalem, free flowing travel capacities, cannot even be on the table in this current discussion. How can they be when Hamas refuses to even recognize the right of Israel to exist?
When I visited Deheshu refugee camps in the West Bank and saw their suffering, when I stayed with Palestinian Christian’s in Bethlehem who couldn’t travel to work in the city – I saw first hand the true second-class citizen status they could not shake and under which they had to live, work and breath, day-in and day-out. However, until Hamas is no longer in power, how can we hope that things will improve? That Israelis living in the settlements within missile striking range of Gaza will be able to sleep at night? Any true cease fire must at least start here…
May God have mercy and spare more innocent lives of a people so desparate to live…..in peace…Right now, children on both sides of this conflict are growing up knowing only fear.