Category Archives : Media


Speak up?

Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. I am sensitive to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Perhaps it’s the four LONG years I spent in a rigourous collegiate journalism program. Perhaps it’s my hyper-sensitivity to the need to say what I want, when I need to say it. Regardless of the reason, I believe everyone has a right to freedom of speech, regardless of whether I agree with or am offended by what they have to say.* Imagine my chagrin when I heard an uproar about an art installation at a high school in my county.  According to a news report (I’d love for more to exist, but it doesn’t seem to have been picked up by all of the local news outlets), students in an honors course “were given an assignment to create a display that shows what social justice means to them.”  The result was on display in the high school’s lobby for weeks before it started getting widespread attention. […]


Miner’s canary

Miner’s canary: A caged bird kept caged in mine tunnels because its demise provided a warning of dangerous levels of toxic gases. (idiomatic) Something whose sensitivity to adverse conditions makes it a useful early indicator of such conditions; something which warns of the coming of greater danger or trouble by a deterioration in its health or welfare On a major road near my home sits a small medical practice. It’s an unassuming building, with a small sign touting its primary doctor’s name, yet it catches my attention nearly every time I drive by.  Day or night, rain or shine, I see people — as few as 1 or as many as 10 — standing outside, protesting its provision of abortion services. The most prominent sign they display is “Pray to end abortion,” and I always get irked to no end, because they’ve got it all wrong. When I see that sign, I think “Don’t pray to end abortion; pray to end poor access to adequate health care and misinformation about contraceptives.” By that, I mean: abortion isn’t the bigger problem. Unplanned/unwanted pregnancies are.  A “high” number of abortions is merely a symptom of the bigger problem, which is women being pregnant when they are not ready or […]


A “no” by any other name … 1

Admittedly, I don’t follow college sports or their athletes. I could generally care less, but I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz recently about the possible charges facing Florida State University’s quarterback Jameis Winston as a result of a rape accusation.  On December 5, the State Attorney, William Meggs, announced that Winston would not be facing criminal charges due to what he called a lack of evidence, elaborating, “We have a duty as prosecutors to only file … charges if we have a reasonable likelihood of a conviction.” It’s important to interject here to explain what Meggs meant.  Criminal charges were not filed because prosecutors did not believe that they would be able to prove to either a judge or jury, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the crime(s) in question occurred.  That does not mean a crime did not occur. It means there isn’t enough evidence to prove it in a court of law. It does not mean the victim falsely reported a rape, falsely implicated Winston, or did anything falsely. It means that there is not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the crime occurred. I would also like to venture that even if charges were filed against Winston […]


Protecting Internet Access and Freedom of Speech

I’m not sure if you’re aware, but there’s some pretty significant legislation being considered in both the Senate and the House of Representatives that has the potential to severely impact internet freedom.  The goals of the bills are to protect intellectual property, prevent copyright infringement, and add enforcement measures against rogue websites.  The legislation, however, is getting a lot of opposition from prominent web-based services, including Google, Facebook, eBay, Mozilla, Yahoo!, Zynga, LinkedIn, and Twitter, who are concerned about how the government and corporations may be able to limit consumer access to the sites they want (and pay) to use. I know you may not be politically active, but I think this is a really important cause to know about. Even if you don’t agree with my stance, I hope you’ll take some time to read about them and consider how much they may impact the work you do, your personal interests, and the future of internet access. If you feel strongly, please reach out to your representatives to let them know how you feel – it’s quick and easy to email them, and they DO read them. (If you don’t know who your U.S. representatives are, you can find […]


Can I just write anonymously?

It never fails that every six months or so, someone who knew me from my days as a journalism student prods me to get back into the field.  Their arguments always run like this: “You’re such a good writer. You should really consider it; it would be so easy for you.” “But don’t you miss it? The research, the interviewing … creating the story?” “Why’d you get a degree in it if you’re not going to use it?” The truth is, I do miss it. I miss writing with a purpose. The only writing I do these days are blogs and even then, it’s only when I’m in turmoil.  I would love to write about things that have little or nothing to do with me, my feelings, and my experiences. And I really miss the writing process, especially the editing. That was always the part I enjoyed most: going back to a piece with fresh eyes, looking for some detail or insight I left out that the reader(s) wouldn’t get anywhere else.