‘F*** It, I Quit’: Stop the Spread of the Viral Video

quitting reporter

A blurred screenshot of said reporter committing said act on live television. It looks better this way.

You’ve probably seen the video. A dramatic local news reporter who quit her job on air by dropping the theoretical microphone (aka the F-bomb) on live TV.

Some people are calling it funny and badass. I’m calling it unethical and disrespectful.

I’m not posting the video. Or her (fake TV) name. Or her pro-marijuana “business.” She doesn’t deserve that kind of exposure, not because of the cause, but because of the way she presented it.

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Signing Off in Charlottesville

Anchoring with Stephanie

Co-anchoring with the fantastic Stephanie Satchell.

All good things must come to an end, they say.

Not really sure who “they” are, but they really don’t know how bittersweet of a statement they’ve created.

After four-and-a-half years in Charlottesville and at CBS19, I’m moving on. In those years, I’ve seen countless people come and go (almost literally—I stopped counting) to bigger places and things. Now I’m joining the club of Newsplex alumni.

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Trial Circumstances: Covering the Randy Taylor Murder Trial

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AArDAzwn8M%5D

On May 1, the murder trial began for Randy Taylor, the man charged in the abduction and murder of 17-year-old Alexis Murphy in Nelson County, Va.

My station decided to have many reporters cover this trial, since many people had a role in covering this story since Alexis’ disappearance in August 2013. Alexis is still missing, and there’s no evidence of her death, but prosecutors chose to proceed with a murder charge in a completely circumstantial case.

I covered Days 4 and 5 of this trial. I’ve learned in covering a number of court cases that every judge runs the court differently. Here, as has become a trend in Central Virginia, phones need to be turned off in the courtroom. The judge would not allow anyone to leave the courtroom unless there was a break. He would not allow anyone to enter the courtroom until there was a break. It was a tight ship, and in television news, that’s not convenient.

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‘More Than’ Disappointed: Rant of AP Style Changes

associated press stylebookThe Associated Press Stylebook is basically my Bible.

Now, however, I feel as if I’m led astray.

Last week, the folks at the AP made a drastic change. I don’t use the term “drastic” loosely when I talk about style.

The AP has decided that “over” is an acceptable substitute for “more than” when talking about numbers.

I had to read about the change more than 10 times before the magnitude of such a change sunk in. (See what I did there?)

Such a concept has been a core of the AP Stylebook for decades, one that I learned as a journalism student and one that I implemented as a college newspaper editor. And it’s a rule I’ve continued to – and will continue to – use professionally (and personally – whom am I kidding?).

Sure, I may have allowed the misspelling of the word “commitment” on the front page of some 10,000 copies of The Temple News. But I swear you never saw an “over” where a “more than” should have been.

We all make mistakes.

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Snow-go on Route 29: Snow Reporting Guide

[youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0KXvOpgyR4%5D

Reporting on snow doesn’t really get easier.

It’s fun to tell the snow stories. It’s not as fun to be out in the ~32-degree weather all day long. (Although, in hindsight, it is.)

This week, the first major storm of the winter hit Central Virginia. Snow accumulation was inches less than what was anticipated, but the impact was still great.

On top of the couple inches, the temperatures over the coming days would border freezing — making overnight lows in the low teens or single digits. Therefore, anything that would stick would likely freeze.

Of course, the average viewer may already know this. So to make a standup as engaging as possible… what to do?

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Reporters’ Guide to Twitter, or #HowTwitterShouldBeUsed

A screen capture of my Twitter timeline.

A screen capture of my Twitter timeline.

It’s so hard to cram so much into 140 characters.

I have several categories of tweets I send. My main requirement is that I must find what I type interesting – the thought process being that I can make something interesting to someone else.

Sometimes, that entails retweeting the governor of Virginia. Sometimes, that entails retweeting Wawa. Because I love Wawa.

My tweeting categories range from work-related tweets to Charlottesville happenings to hometown pride to “just for fun.” A number of my followers rely on my Twitter account to know about what’s in the news (recently, I tweeted updates from the scene of a plane crash in Albemarle County). But not all my tweets are Charlottesville-specific, as not all of my followers are specific to Charlottesville.

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OPINION: Blindside by the Blind Temple Board of Trustees

The 2013 Homecoming game of Temple's football program at Lincoln Financial Field. Higher attendance than normal because of the Homecoming.

The 2013 Homecoming game of Temple’s football program at Lincoln Financial Field. Higher attendance than normal because of the Homecoming.

This is my rare attempt at an editorial. Opinions on this hyperlocal story that I will not cover for any news organization in the Philadelphia area are my own.

I don’t think it’d be widely disputed that $3 million in college athletics is a drop in the bucket.

It’s a calamity that that’s reality. But… it’s reality.

If $3 million, out of a total $44 million budget, could save the jobs of nine college coaches and the pride of 150 student-athletes, wouldn’t college officials try to find some way to create a more balanced budget and save the livelihoods of all affected?

Nah, apparently not.

Sometimes, tough decisions need to be made. And the folks at my alma mater, Temple University, made the decision to cut seven sports programs, affecting those 150 student-athletes and nine full-time employees.

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