off deadline

on-the-clock tv reporter, off-the-clock lover of family, friends, open roads, moving music & a good cup of coffee.

the maneater

24. September 2014

(The capri pants, I know… call it a blast from the not so distant past…)

I just got an invitation to celebrate The Maneater’s 60th Anniversary. The Maneater was my college newspaper, and while that might not sound monumental, it changed my life and began my career path.

When I went to college, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. Journalism seemed like a path to maybe work at a fashion magazine or DJ at a radio station. But on a whim I went to a meeting for The Maneater, and that’s where I got my first lessons on journalistic ethics and on writing stories that have “teeth.”

I was working in a newsroom where even though the stories we were writing were about student government and university events…we didn’t treat them like they were practice, or like they weren’t important. My editor, also a student, would harp on me for Oxford commas and em dashes; we’d fight about facts and fairness and truth; we held student and faculty leaders accountability and lived by the motto “you’ve been warned.”

It was also the place I met friends I’m still close with today. I’ve since worked in other newsrooms and have moved into the world of television… but I’ll always love newspapers and I’ll always think of The Maneater fondly.

The paper’s first editorial policy:

"If you want to keep us out, better bar the door. And don’t try getting rough or screaming ‘libel’ when a Maneater reporter crashes your meetings. When The Maneater gets mad, all hell is going to break loose. You’ve been warned."

sweet lazy sunday

10. February 2014

It’s been a tough week emotionally speaking. At work I’ve spent most newscasts reporting on two absolutely heartwrenching stories — one, the death of a nine-year-old boy, allegedly at the hands of his mother, and the consistent history of verbal and physical abuse he endured before hand — and the other, a four-month-old infant hanging on for her life after sexual and physical abuse by her mother’s boyfriend. These are stories that need to be told, but that are painful to tell. Our news director wrote this letter about just that, and about our plans for coverage.

There have been 9-1-1 calls and lapel camera video released; there have been questions about whether and how these children were failed while they were alive; there have been so many interviews with city leaders and members of the community, each one heartbroken and angry and sad. I know this is important to cover, but this weekend having the chance to disconnect a little bit was essential. 

So yesterday, I was completely unproductive. Shaun and I went to The Grove for brunch (raspberry croissant French toast - to die for) before a short trip to Santa Fe. We intended to do a quick hike…turns out a foot of snow and motorcycle boots don’t mix well. Instead we enjoyed the gorgeous scenery for awhile before getting coffee and heading home. We had dinner with his family and then I went home, watched some Olympic Figure Skating and headed to bed.

Today, though, I have a lot to get done before heading back to work. And I do want to return with nothing on my mind but being ready to cover those challenging, but important stories…in hopes that knowing what we face will spark some kind of change in our community.

Monday, 13 - 12 - 2010

So you want to be a journalist? Text-to-video creations that hit all too close to home.

"Would you like to write about pork belly futures for a newspaper in Topeka, Kansas?"

[via Kathleen]