Curent Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Current Gig:Editor-in-Chief of Swissre.com. Before coming to Switzerland, I was a reporter at WGHP-TV in Greensboro, N.C., and held various gigs in radio.
Member Since: April 2008
Six-word memoir: Nerdy yogini striving to better herself.
Favorite fictional character: Shori from Octavia Butler’s “Fledgling.” Shori looks like like a pre-teen, but she’s actually a 50-something-old amnesiac vampire. I don’t drink blood, but I look younger than my years and have trouble remembering things.
Favorite tech tool? My brain.:-) Outside of that, my Olympus DM-3 for podcast interviews and my MacBook Pro. As for software, Soundslides and WireTap Studio.
What happens during your average day?
Difficult question. It really depends on what campaigns or initiatives are in the works. Sometimes I’m in meetings all day, while other times I get to actually write. I spend a lot of time working with units in my company on stories and planning content for the homepage.
Why did you choose to get involved with online media?
I’m not really sure I chose online media. It was just a natural progression. I’ve always had a love of computers. I was one of the first kids on my street to have a Commodore 64, and the Apple II was a huge part of my elementary school days. Later I found my way online and participated in computer bulletin boards and Usenet newsgroups. I started blogging in 1999 merely out of curiosity, creating “web journals” by using straight HTML and Notepad. The industry move from print and broadcast journalism to online journalism happened during the same time I was moving forward in my career. It was a parallel development.
What does it feel like to be in transition?
I think we’re in transition all the time. Shoot, that’s what life is about. Therefore, I’m not sure if I can say what it feels like “to be in transition.” To me that’s like explaining what it feels like to breathe. In terms of why I actually changed jobs, as with many government-funded projects, the budget at my old job was under the microscope. I decided to be proactive and find another job before I *had* to. A friend sent me the job ad for my current gig, I applied and was pleasantly surprised to have made the cut.
Pure journalism and corporate journalism both require the same thing, though: the ability to tell a story.
What lessons can journalism learn from yogic principles?
Perhaps the first limb of the eight-limbed path, yama, can be applied to journalism. This limb contains five parts, with the first one being ahimsa. Ahimsa means non-violence. Words can hurt. When we write, especially for an online audience, we must remember that in a short amount of time our words can spread harmony and truth, or they can spread confusion and pain. Perhaps before we press the send button to turn in copy, we should ask ourselves if that text will help a situation or send it spiraling out of control.
As an international media maker, what advice would you give to young journalists interested in living and working abroad?
Learn a foreign language. Now. And take it seriously. A lot of us take foreign languages in school as electives or just for fun, without the expectation of actually using them. This is totally the wrong approach. We should have in our minds that we’ll have to use these languages in our day-to-day lives just like we use English or math.
If you had a million dollars dedicated to improving media, you would …
Start Saturday writing workshops for kids. Children have wild and wonderful minds. They can come up with the most amazing stories. A child with a flair for writing and storytelling should be encouraged just as if he or she were a star athlete.