Posted tagged ‘news’

The rest of my NAM pieces and other tidbits

August 25, 2009

Finally, I have time to post again. My last few weeks at NAM were busy, though lots of fun.

Here are the rest of my NAM stories from this summer. I definitely feel like I know more about how various organizations work. Yay!

A few other papers and senior-focused orgs have picked this one up.

Since my photos didn’t get used with my HSF story on the NAM site, here is one:

Healthy San Francisco Silver Avenue Clinic

Someone from CNN booking emailed me after reading my HSF story, asking for a pre-interview on skype. We skyped last Thursday, and she’s forwarding my contact info to the editorial and broadcasting teams (no guarantees that they’ll contact me, but they now have my info), and she told me to email her if I’m interesting in contributing writing/reporting for them!! (She thought I had an interesting perspective on health care as a college student..)

Healthy San Francisco Silver Avenue Clinic

I wish I liked taking photos more. It always feels so much more intrusive than reporting to me, or less respectful, even though I ask permission.

This story of mine broke before the Chronicle’s story about the Nichi Bei Times, first in the Nichi Bei Times itself and then on the NAM site, and a few other Asian American news sources picked it up. In fact, looking at the way the Chronicle structured their story and the information they included, I wonder whether they used my story for guidance.

I also got an email from the Asian American Journalists Association, for whose listserv I’m registered because I got a grant from them for my NAM internship, called “Save the Nichi Bei Times.” AAJA asked for members to support the new Nichi Bei Foundation and referenced my article. In other words, I got a general, anonymous blast that referenced my work! It was great seeing that someone was actually using my reporting to promote a cause. If my job is to be simply shifting information around, and maybe also digging up something from time to time if I’m lucky, it’s good to see that the shifting might matter.

Other NAM news:

Shane Bauer, one of the three hikers detained in Iran after accidentally crossing the Iran-Iraq border on July 31, is a freelance journalist who contributes to NAM. So the day the story of their detention broke, CNN and two or three other mainstream news organizations burst into NAM’s little, very-non-mainstream office to interview our director and others about the detention, and other media kept the phones ringing all week about the story. Iran has released little information about the status of the three since detaining them.

Random: someone recently found my blog by searching “What do dolphins eat.” Alas, poor searcher, my blog has given you only more questions, and no answers. Though I might suggest “fish” as an answer. This blog has also been the destination of the searches “what do ladybugs eat and drink” AND “what do deer eat.”

On another note, how did I manage to see 40 or so meteors the Wednesday before last and forget to wish on a single one?


NAM 7 week update

August 4, 2009

I think I missed a great editorial meeting last week. As I tried to get off the phone with Dell tech support, I wandered in and out of the meeting and heard something about an upsurge in leg extensions and other cosmetic surgery among Asians – someone asked how they did it, and someone else explained that she thought they broke the leg, and then added titanium piping. Then Dell told me I had to install something I didn’t need on my computer. (It turned out that one of our writers is working on a story about a dramatic increase in middle-aged Chinese-American men getting plastic surgery to compete better in a difficult job market. Their wives used to encourage them to come in – now they’re doing it on their own!)

When I got back to the meeting, I heard someone saying, “It’s a little late. I mean the movie came out two weeks ago,” and someone else saying, “Yeah, but he has a pretty unique perspective as a bank robber himself.” I correctly concluded NAM has connections with a bank robber who reviewed Public Enemies:

I recently had to do a lot of outreach for these roundtable discussions on women immigrants that New America Media was hosting in Washington, D.C., Chicago, LA, New York, and Miami. As an offshoot of the discussion, NAM decided to post blog entries by various contributors about their women immigrant relatives. Since I’d written about my grandma leaving China after World War II in my Writing About War journalism class last semester, I modified that piece and they posted it:

I mentioned looking for a family to interview about long-term care of a family member. I arranged to go meet the Waltons in Berkeley – Carol takes care of her husband Ortiz – and went to interview them last Friday with Paul on the video team. We got there 30 minutes early, and as we were waiting outside the house, a firetruck and ambulance came speeding down the street. Paul said, “They better not be coming here,” but sure enough, they stopped right next to us and five or six officers and medics went into the house.

They came out a few minutes later – it turned out the husband had had a fall, and then the wife had passed out as she was trying to help him. They were okay now, but we told Carol we’d come back and interview them another day, after they’d got some rest. That this had all happened just when we came to interview them about the difficulties of being old and ailing without support.

We came back on Monday, and in our interview, we learned that Ortiz Walton is a fairly famous jazz bassist – the youngest person and first African American to play in the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, who has since then written about called Music: Black, White, and Blue in America, and held benefit concerts to raise money to support voting rights, and started a foundation for vulnerable students with his wife, and received a doctorate in Sociology from Berkeley, and been mentioned by Duke Ellington in his book, and been called by Max Roach “the greatest jazz bassist of all time.” And so on. My feature on them will be going up soon, but it was an all-around surreal experience.