Tag Archives: journalism

I Thought I Was The Only One That Did This On Airplanes…

3 May

I am a HUGE fan of Public Radio International’s “This American Life,” hosted by Baltimore native Ira Glass, produced at WBEZ in Chicago and aired on your local NPR station.  I have the show downloaded to my iPod, so I can listen at my leisure.

Pan Am model and my daughter on a Kleenex tissue box

So I’m riding in on the train to work April 29, and the theme of Episode #429 is Tough Room.  It’s all about “people speaking their minds in very tough rooms.”  While all the stories were interesting, it was Act 4 — The Contrails of my Tears — that really hit home.

I’m going to reveal a travel secret — I always cry during anything that’s aired on an airline’s inflight entertainment system.  No matter what the movie, TV show or commercial, I always manage to shed a few tears.  And I thought I was the only one.  Until I heard Act 4 of Tough Room.

You can upload the episode onto your iPod via the iTunes store, or you can play it directly from the website, here.  Once you do that, scroll to the 45:06-minute mark, which is where the story begins.  The piece is 11 minutes, and it changed my life.  Commentator Brett Martin, a correspondent for GQ, talks about how IFE on planes makes him cry, no matter how ridiculous — or bad — the programing is.  I can’t tell you kids how much better I feel!  Can someone pass me some tissue?

And I would be remiss if I didn’t make two plugs.  One, Ira Glass is coming to Baltimore for a fundraising event for my significant other’s non-profit, CivicWorks.  The event will be held at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland’s Doyle Hall & LeClerc Auditorium. Tickets are $50 and are for a good cause.

If you can’t make the Baltimore event, please consider making a donation to This American Life.  They do great long-form journalism and storytelling (something that is harder to find these days), and even though it’s free to listen, it does cost money to produce.  Ira told me (well, on the radio), how $10 dollars would be a great help, so I did it through text messaging on my iPhone. But you can also donate here. Thank you!!

Friday Link Love – The Congestion Edition

21 Jan

OK, this one will be short.  I have been battling a very nasty respiratory infection, which has knocked me out.

It’s Friday, so here we are with “Strange But True Aviation News.” The pickings were slim this week, but he have two editions of extreme pat-downs, a terminal shut-down and a bribe that went wrong.  I also bid an early farewell to the Northwest Airlines livery at the Things With Wings blog.

This week’s Airplane Geeks was all news, listener mail and (ugh) politics.

On the journalism side, check out my Friday Fast Five column, which offers some great resources for folks looking for a job.

And I’ll end the week with these two photos I took at JetBlue’s JFK Airport T5 terminal last December.  The exhibit was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the New York Jets, who play the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend for a ticket to the Super Bowl.  Enjoy!

I Love My Tech Toys!

10 Jan

I was taking a scroll through my Google Reader when I came across this article from GigaOm – Stuff I’m Still Using: My Favorite Products From 2010.  My friends will tell you I am a big fan of technology that makes my life and my work easier.

My biggest toy for 2011 is the 32 GB iPhone 4 my dad bought me for my birthday in July.  I had an iPod Touch, which was great, but with limited wifi, I couldn’t get many of the cool apps my sister had on her iPhone.  This phone has changed my life.  In a later post, I’ll go over my favorite apps for the different parts of my life.

The man bought me a dual iPhone/iPod charger that has been very handy.  I also love my Plantronics Bluetooth headset that works with both my Blackberry Curve (my work phone) and the iPhone.

Like many others, I had the debate with myself on whether to get an iPad or a netbook.  After much debate, I went with a Gateway netbook that I snagged for $220 on Sellout Woot.  I love the 6-hour battery, the clear screen, the 160 GB hard drive and the fact that I can carry this puppy in my purse.

Even after playing with my sister’s iPad, I’m still not 100% convinced I need one.  But with all the juicy rumors coming out about the iPad 2 and all the features industry wags say will be on it, that might be enough to push me over the edge.

2011 will be the year of the camera upgrade for me.  I’m trying to decide between buying a camera like the Canon Powershot G12 or going all out with something like the Nikon D90.  I need something that will allow me to take my aviation/airline/aircraft photos, plus the candid and random people pics I enjoy.  Plus I want to take video to post here and on the Aviation Week website.

So what are your favorite tech toys and why?

Gearing Up For 2011

30 Dec

I am one of those people who relish the thought of making resolutions to ring in the new year.  For me, I’ve decided that 2011 will be the year I put my efforts to becoming the complete multimedia journalist into warp drive. I am an old school journalist who began her career in 1985, using a manual typewriter.  I remember well how print reports only needed an ink pen, a pad and a passion for digging to get the story.

But those days are long gone. I realized that if I wanted to survive – and thrive – I would have to adapt.  So since 2006, when my company first announced its own digital media transition, I have been obsessed with developing my multimedia skills.  I have spent hundreds of dollars of my own money to buy equipment and take courses that could enhance my print stories.

So below are 5 things I plan to do to move me toward that goal.

  1. Upgrade my still camera.  I’ve been using my Fujifilm S8000 for about three years, but it’s time to move to the next level — a DSLR camera that can shoot HD video.
  2. Learn how to code using HTML.  As news organizations are looking to their editorial teams to have more skills, learning HTML, which could allow me to create and maintain web pages, is a skill that it can’t hurt to have.  I plan to take my course at a local community college. But if your budget is tight, check out the FREE classes offered by Seattle-based Creative Live.
  3. Start using video.  In September, I took a week-long course at the Poynter Institute on multimedia storytelling where I learned to shoot and edit video.  I’m sorry to say I haven’t used my skills much, but that WILL change in 2011.
  4. Take better advantage of the training offered through my membership in Knowledgewebb, a membership-based digital tools training website.  Classes I’ve already signed up for include: Beginner Audio-Photo Slideshows: Using SoundSlides; Intro to Google Maps; 3 Tools to Make Interactive Maps; 50 Ways to Improve Your Blog; and Getting Started With QR Codes and Other 2D Barcodes.
  5. And last – but certainly not least – continue to be a digital media evangelist, with a focus on championing journalists of color.  As co-chair of the National Association of Black Journalists’ Digital Journalism Task Force, I had the chance to network with some people doing amazing things in multimedia.  I also used our NABDigital Twitter account and NABJDigital blog to pass along information that can help others achieve their digital dreams.

So there you have it.  At the end of 2011, I’ll come back and see how I did.  Meanwhile, why don’t you offer up some of your own resolutions in the comments section?  Happy New Year!!

Showing The Friday Link Love

10 Dec

It’s Friday, so it MUST be time for my weekly column, “Strange But True Aviation News.” This week we had a bumper crop of badly behaving celebrities,  Transportation Security Administration follies and even a plug for “The Rocky Horror Picture Show!”

I had a ball as a substitute host for this week’s Airplane Geeks podcast episode, sitting in for Jetwhine’s Rob Mark, who was off on one of his many boondoggles. And the bonus for me? The guest was Richard Aboulafia, the aerospace analyst extraordinaire for Virgina-based The Teal Group.  His monthly newsletter is required reading for those serious about aviation.  It’s informative and funny!

On the journalism side, I’ve published my Friday Fast Five + Five on the NABJDigital blog, which offers the latest tips and tricks in digital/social/multimedia.  You can also listen to the replay of my BlogTalkRadio show, “Making The Transition From Journalism To PR.” Enjoy the weekend!

How “Top Chef” Can Help Me With My Social/Digital Media Aspirations In 2011

6 Dec

Knife photo courtesy of Matthew Griffith via Flickr

I have been addicted to the Bravo TV series “Top Chef” since Season 2.  I’m just thrilled that the current season, which started Dec. 1, has brought back almost all of my “Top Chef” favorite contestants, except for Ron Durpat from Season 6.

But what I really like is how Bravo has incorporated social media tools that help fans feed their fix for the addictive show. And the show can serve as a guide for journalists who are still struggling with how — and which — social media tools to include in their efforts to join the conversation with readers.

Each of the judges – Anthony Bourdain, Tom Colichio and Gail Simmons — have blogs that offer considerable insight and behind-the-scenes informative and entertaining tidbits. But why no blog for Padma??  There’s also a Team Top Chef blog that adds to the fun.  I can check this off, because I contribute to 2 work-sponsored blog, and I also write the NABJDigital blog and now have this blog (yes, I do sleep and have a life).

You can spend hours on the website alone playing games, reviewing the past eight seasons, checking out photos and videos, chatting away with fellow fans on the message boards and keeping up via Twitter and Facebook.  I especially like the Top Chef presence on Twitter. It’s obvious they have someone dedicated to that account, judging by the steady stream of Tweets.  I consider HootSuite a great free tool that can help you manage Twitter accounts and Facebook pages.

And if that weren’t enough, you can get lost in the recipe finder section, which is broken down into 13 different categories, including: skill level, course, cuisine, season and even mood.  Let’s get real – I consider myself a pretty good cook, but I won’t be making the Colorado Rack of Lamb, in the challenging category, made by Dale Levitski from Season 3 (and I’m glad he’s on the current season).  I’m much more likely to attempt the Spicy Shrimp Ceviche with Chili Popcorn, in the moderate category, done by Sam Talbot in Season 3. And I’d definitely try the Grilled and Chilled Shrimp recipe, in the easy category, from Lisa Fernandes in Season 4.

The website is also very friendly on smartphones, and allows visitors to sign up for updates.  There’s even a Foodie Fight iPhone/iPad app that allows you to battle with past cheftestants using items from the Top Chef pantry.  My company does not have an iPhone app, but it does have a handy mobile website that’s accessible on any smartphone.

The journalist/social media side of me sees so many possibilities of what can really be done to bring in – and keep – your audience as a part of the conversation, thanks to what “Top Chef” has done.  We’ll see what develops in 2011!

Let’s Do This!

24 Nov

Welcome to Aviation Queen. I’ll be using this blog to highlight the three biggest passions in my life besides my child: Aviation, Journalism and Social Media. Time for takeoff!!


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