Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Lara Logan's return to 60 Minutes

CBS News/60 Minutes correspondent Lara Logan has returned to 60 Minutes.  After what could be described as a tumultuous past few years where Logan has been under fire for using a discredited source on the Benghazi attack, she has returned to the air but not without some criticism. Logan took a leave of absence from 60 Minutes.  Even though there is no excuse for short cuts in a journalistic piece you have to consider what Logan had experienced just a couple years prior. On the night of February 11, 2011 reporting from Cairo's Tahrir Square during a wild celebration of more than 100,000 people during the fall of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, Logan was separated from her cameraman.  In the hysteria a mob attacked and sexually assaulted the CBS reporter. The violent attack lasted for nearly 25 minutes.
Logan: I was no doubt in my mind that I was in the process of dying. I thought, not only am I gonna die here, but it's gonna be just a torturous death that's going to go on forever and ever and ever.  - Lara Logan in a 60 Minutes interview 
Journalists face many obstacles in their quest to deliver news to the public.  While reporters who cover city hall, school board meetings, and house fires face their own set of dangers, Logan and other reporters like her have ventured onto battle fields to deliver us the news on the war front. While there they face many dangers.  Many reporters have lost their lives. Despite the loss of life courageous reporters (and their crews) still put their lives in dangers to deliver us the truth. One of the ethical tenants of journalism is seek the truth and report it.  But no where does it say you have to wear body armor or dodge bullets or even endure a violent attack that could scar you for the rest of your life.
Check out this video from Sunday, March 22 episode of 60 Minutes where Logan reports on more of the heartbreaking causalities of ISIS. What is more amazing about this story is that during many of the segments that were taped ISIS fighters were just a few miles away.  It would be interesting to learn what drives this courageous reporter.  Why does she continue to put herself in harms way? Just a couple days after this story aired on 60 Minutes Logan was admitted to the hospital as she continues to battle the wounds and scars from that attack in 2011. 

Our bloggers are kicking some....

I took a nice little stroll through "Blogically Speaking " today and I'm pleased to report our bloggers are really doing a great job. I shouldn't be surprised but I have to admit in these dog days of the school year when everyone is looking forward to Spring Break, Prom, and Graduation it can be kind of a chore to sit down and go blogging. In A Drop of Sheila, Sheila takes a sentimental stroll through her family's scrapbook, takes time to comment on the First Amendment and then manages inform Madonna that she's washed up. Just a few clicks away I was over at Erin Brush's blog. Erin knows how to get me to read her blog and once again I took the bait because she mentioned one of my favorite books in her blog. The "Stich" Gabrielle Stichweh has really been ruling the blog roost lately with some extremely thoughtful and deep blog posts.  I found her most recent blog post on the "So You're 18" presentation to be required reading.  The Marshall Plan has a blog post that all you Parks and Recreation fans should read. On one Chronicle blog you can read lighthearted tales of popular comedy shows and then your navigation may steer your toward Kelly Noriega where her most recent blog post had me completely locked in.  In Kelly's blog post "Locker Room Talk," Kelly focuses on the topic of eating disorders and how we shouldn't trivialize things we don't understand. Another few clicks away I stumbled onto "A Dash of Ash."  Ashton tells us why sometimes she struggles to sleep but her twilight inspirations can be worth the lack of sleep. Over at "To Blog...Or Nahv," our blogger touches on a topic that has consumed a lot of our conversations lately. Kylie McCalmont's blog post last week is definitely worth the read, especially if you like to shop and you're into zip robes (and grandma's nightgown sections at Kohls.) It was just a matter of time before I headed over to Erin McElhenney's blog - which I have to admit has the best name for a blog - "Word Vomit" - if there was an award for best blog name she would win it.  I guess we could come up with that award. At Word Vomit, Erin manages to discuss her future and then by some fate of her typing fingers she weaves in the plight of Monica Lewinsky.  Our bloggers continue grow in their blogging. I enjoy the topics, the maturity and depth of how they treat their subject matter - it truly is impressive.  Keep up the good work.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Q: Does your college choice matter A: Maybe not.

I'm looking forward to the release of the following book by New York Times columnist Frank Bruni. In WHERE YOU GO IS NOT WHO YOU'LL BE,  Bruni explains how Americans have turned the college admissions process into a terrifying process of test prep, rankings, and tutors in hopes that they'll get into one of America's most prestigious colleges (mainly those with the perception of ivy growing on picturesque and ornate buildings scattered around campus.) Bruni shows how this is a deeply flawed process often filled with a tremendous amount of anxiety (for parents and their kids.)

As a parent I often wonder about the schools where my children may end up going.  I usually tell them the school doesn't matter - it's what you're willing to put into your education that matters.  Are you going to get involved in college life? Are you going to be a bystander?  Are you going to volunteer in fields that could help your career path?  Are you going to pursue internships?  Are you going to network? All colleges provide those opportunities.  Each year I watch as students pack their schedules with AP courses, spend hundreds of dollars on test prep, lose sleep, build resumes that don't seem humanly possible, join groups and clubs just so it looks good on a resume without ever really investing any of themselves in said endeavor, and then get stressed out as they wait each day by the mailbox for that acceptance letter to what they hope is the missing ingredient on their own personal life success plan.

Bruni was motivated to write this new book because as listened to other parents talk about their children's college application process he was wondering if there was some secret formula he was missing out on.
“I was watching this and comparing it to my own life and the successful people I know,” he said. “I wondered if there was anything in their résumés, a uniform attendance at a few select schools, and I didn’t see it. It wasn’t the case. It was a patchwork of educational pedigrees.”
What a lot college applicants don't realize is that the number of students who get rejected is staggering.  Dealing with rejection is difficult but get this - the elite universities turn away 95% of their applicants - in fact Stanford only accepted 5% of all applicants in the recently completed application season.  Check Richard Perez-Pena's article in The New York Times that sheds light on the cut throat and anxiety filled process of applying to the "elite" institutions of higher learning.  

For more the release of Frank Bruni's book click on the following link from today's Washington Post from writer/reporter Jeffrey J. Selingo.

Friday, March 13, 2015

The "Marshall" Plan supports MBC

Chronicle blogger Abbey Marshall, a strong advocate for journalism as Mason High School recently blogged about the role of journalism and MBC at MHS.  I'm so impressed with Abbey's voice in this piece.  The know Abbey's fellow journalists will agree with what she has to say and appreciate her opinion.
"Journalism is an obligation to the people; it services the public by providing news and information. Students at Mason High School have been striving to achieve this goal for years, through the print journalism of The Chronicle or the broadcast journalism of MBC. Firsthand, I understand all the time and effort put behind these productions and know how grueling this process can sometimes be, but every second is worth it when I see a student holding a copy of our newspaper."
Abbey and her fellow colleagues on the staff of MBC perform a vital function at MHS. It is impressive how the two groups have supported each other this year.
"Although I am not a part of the MBC team, I have feelings of deep respect and camaraderie with them. I was motivated by the exceptional broadcast this past Wednesday to write this, because it doesn’t feel right that something this good is kept from students. It saddens me that they need to use the hashtag #DemandMBC to get teachers to show the broadcast because it shouldn’t be something that should be demanded; it should be something that is a right. I imagine the outrage I would feel if we were kept from sharing The Chronicle with people and I simply couldn’t come to grips with it." 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Welcome new bloggers

The last few weeks have been pretty exciting as we get ready to welcome some new staff members to The Chronicle for 15-16.  The staff members are already going through training for next year and now it is time to welcome them to the 'blogosphere.'  Welcome new bloggers.  Check out their blogs by simply clicking on their name.  Isabell Marotta, Alyssa Brooks, Alekya Raghavan, Eric Michael, Jonathan McCullough, Asia Porter, Ellie Uecker, Serina Cline, Blake Nissen, Lauren Lysko, and India Kirssin

House of Cards Season 3 - good, not great

I just finished Season 3 of House of Cards on Netflix. Season 1 and 2 were better.  I think Season 3 was entertaining but just didn't have that "it" factor.  Frank Underwood is now the President but really most of the story seems to center around his rapidly deteriorating relationship with his wife Claire who is probably more power hungry than "Francis."  I think all the deceit and backstabbing that led to his final goal of ascending to the presidency was more fun to watch.  Now that he's commander and chief the backstabbing just isn't as good.  Fellow H of C fans, what did you think?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Catching up with some MBC alums

I want to give a shout out to some of our MBC alums who are showing off their skills on the air. I've included their email addresses if you would like to contact them - all you have to do is click on their name and you can email them. 

Caleigh Bourgeois is an MBC alum who is also an Ohio University graduate. .  She is now working at ABC 57 in South Bend, Indiana.  Learn more about Caleigh by clicking here.   Check out Caleigh's stories by clicking here. 

Deanna Allbrittin, another proud MBC alum who attended Indiana University is working at 14 News in Evansville, Indiana.  Check out Deanna's work here.  While at Mason, Deanna was also an outstanding reporter for The Chronicle. When Deanna graduated from I.U. she was asked to speak at graduation. 

Blake Brodie , is an MBC alum who also attended Ohio University.  Blake is currently at KCBD 11 in Lubbock, Texas. Check out Blake here.  Blake gets to cover Big 12 sports in the heart of Texas.  You can find Blake interviewing the head football coach basketball coaches at Texas Tech as well as cover high school football which is king in Texas. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Visiting WCPO with MHS alum

Sitting in the middle of this picture is a proud Mason High School, MBC, and Chronicle alum - Griffin Frank. (You can spot Griffin with snazzy black jacket with the WCPO 9 logo on it.)  Griffin is one of the finest students I've ever had the opportunity to work with at Mason High School.  Griffin was immersed in our program, went onto Northern Kentucky University and is now a producer at WCPO 9 in Cincinnati.  This past weekend some of our MHS students got the chance to visit Griffin and WCPO for a careers in media workshop hosted at the station. Griffin is an example of an alum who takes their role seriously - giving back to his school and our program by giving one of life's most precious commodities - his time. I'm sure our students had a great time at the workshop.  I'm proud to see MHS students taking the time on a Saturday to learn more about career opportunities.  Griffin, and (left to right) Asia, Sheila, Madison, Spencer, Sydney, Ariel, Cullen, Emily, and Lilly - you make me proud. Thank you.