REMINDER – Hudson Valley freelancer gathering TONIGHT, Tivoli, 8pm

Hey folks. Just a reminder about tonight's Hudson Valley freelancer gathering at the Black Swan – 66 Broadway in Tivoli, 8pm. I know the weather is not looking good, but I'm planning on going regardless, defying this ridiculous endless winter.

This event is open to everyone, so feel free to invite friends, co-workers, anyone who might like a night out to socialize with fellow self-employees.

I've created a facebook invite if you want to see who's planning on coming, and again, it's an open invite, so please do spread the word.!/event.php?eid=196771733677837

See you soon!


Two upcoming online micro-conferences from Webbmedia Group

Interesting concept. Tickets are $59 for the first conference, and $175 for the second. Details and links below.


Hi everyone. Just wanted to give you a heads up that we're planning two micro-conferences in May and June. We're experimenting with a new conference format, which includes a panel session, a Twitter attendee lounge, tech tools demos and virtual swag bags.

The first is our Mid-Year Tech Trends Micro-Conference on Saturday, May 21. Full details: 
The second is our QR Code Micro-Conference on Wednesday, June 22. Full details:
Tickets officially go on sale tomorrow. We do have a limited number of press passes for those interested in covering the events. Please let me know if you have any questions. Meantime, we're available to talk more about tech trends, barcodes and why we're producing virtualized micro-conferences if you'd like…

Amy Webb
CEO + Principal
Webbmedia Group, LLC

Philadelphia workshop on covering veterans this Friday/Saturday – FREE

Not sure if there are any Philly-based folks on this list, but this FREE workshop sounds pretty good. Pass it on to your colleagues!


The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma of the Columbia Journalism School invites you to a two-day professional training workshop April 1 & 2, 2011 in Philadelphia on covering returning veterans.

In-depth reporting on veterans, especially at the local and regional level, poses special challenges – from navigating the VA and local agencies to understanding the psychological injuries many soldiers carry home. We’ve designed this free workshop (funded by Philadelphia’s Scattergood Foundation) to help reporters and editors in the greater Philadelphia region both develop a rich array of authoritative expert sources,  and learn ideas and strategies for high-impact local stories and projects on veterans from award-winning colleagues.  

The workshop will offer practical tips and expert sources on issues including among others:

·      PTSD, TBI and mental health

·      Soldiers and families

·      Navigating the VA and vets’ culture

·      Women veterans

·      Suicide

·      Veterans, violence and the criminal justice system

·      High-impact local stories on veterans’ issues

Speakers include T. Christian Miller of Pro Publica; Helen Benedict, author of The Lonely Soldier; Iraq veteran and former U.S. Congressman Patrick Murphy; the Hon. Patrick Dugan, Philadelphia Veterans’ Court; Kelly Kennedy, USA Today and author, They Fought For Each Other; and many others, including a wide range of experts on veterans issues.

There is no cost to attend.

More information can be found at:

To register, please contact Kate Black at

TAL Theme List

The latest call for pitches from This American Life, courtesy of the Association of Independents in Radio. Good luck!


Dear This American Life friends and contributors,

We've got a new round of themes-in-progress and we're coming to you
for story pitches, thoughts and suggestions for our upcoming shows.

How this process works: When you send in a story idea to me, I'll
respond with a generic email letting you know that I received your
pitch and that I've read it. I promise. I read every pitch. (I
won't send you the auto response until I've read your pitch so expect
a bit of a delay getting that email.) If we think the pitch is right
for us, or if we need more information from you, I'll send you another
email asking for more info on the story or letting you know we'd like
to commission the story. But if you don't hear back from us within two
weeks, beyond the initial auto-reply email, it means the story just
isn't right for us or for the needs of that particular show. The idea
of doing it this way is just to get through pitches and get back to
everyone a little more quickly.

Like always, these themes are shows we're actively pursuing right now
but we're always on the lookout for new stories or ideas. So if
you've got a story that you think would work especially well for us
but doesn't fit a specific theme listed below, please send it along

Thanks so much for your pitches. All of us here are very appreciative.


SEE NO EVIL: We have one story for this show about the aftermath of a
murder in a family. Actually within the family. Two brothers are
struggling with the death of their mother and the additional difficult
layer that it’s their other brother who killed her. He’s in prison now
and the brothers and their families are trying to figure out what
place he’s going to have in their family once he’s out. Everyone
acknowledges that the murder was an unspeakable act, but their mother
was abusive to all of them, particularly to the brother that killed
her. They’re not trying to justify it, they’re just not sure how they
look past this act of evil that’s at the center of all their lives
now. Or whether they should. In another story, an employee at the
Kennedy Center gift shop tries to figure out why the register is
coming up short every month … they’re actually losing money. It
takes the employee a really long time to see the obvious culprit
that’s staring him in the face. The See No Evil show is coming up
soon, but we’re still looking for some smallish things to fill out the
show. We sent this out before, but we’re still on the lookout for
parents and children who have basically the same political views as
their parent (liberal or conservative) but as their parent ages – and
has the time to watch more and more cable TV news – the parent's views
have become more extreme. And, to the kid, more annoying. In order
for this to work, we’d need you to have very specific anecdotes. What
are the sound bites you’ve heard from your parents? What was the last
issue you talked about where you thought your parents were just
parroting a talk show host? We’re also considering a small segment
that would feature people talking about something annoying that
happens in their lives that they try desperately to ignore. Like say
the person on the bus next to you who doesn’t seem to mind that their
leg is brushing up against yours. Forcefully. Or the parent on your
kid’s soccer team who won’t stop talking about the incredible teeth
whitening product they’ve just discovered. If you have suggestions for
any kind of moment where you have to put your head in the sand and
pretend like everything is ok, we’d love to hear from you.

KNOW WHEN TO FOLD ‘EM: Stories about trying to figure out when it’s
time to give it up. Or get over it. We have one story about a
tragedy that spurs an entire family – aunts, uncles, cousins and all –
into nearly full-time political activism. But now, several years on,
the family has to take stock and look at what has been gained and what
has been lost. And they have to ask themselves whether or not it’s
been worth it. In another story, a guy spends years itching for a
fight with his dad but finally realizes, when it’s almost too late,
that he should just give it up. So we’re looking for more stories
about people who fail to assess when it’s time to give up and move on.
 Funny stories would be great for this show and, of course, stories
about relationships. Maybe someone who is just willfully blind to how
incompatible they are with their partner? Or maybe a story about
someone who consistently gives up too soon? Poker stories (people who
stubbornly hold on to ridiculous hands?) would, of course, be perfect
for this show.

GOSSIP: We'd like to do a show about the strange and surprising ways
that gossip works. We've got one possible story about American
researchers in Malawi, who track the way local communities think about
AIDS. For more than a decade, they've been giving notebooks to certain
women in Malawi, who are tasked with writing down whatever gossip they
hear about AIDS in their villages – who's got it, how they got it, why
they got it, whether they're getting treated, etc. In this way,
they've figured out how people's ideas, and misconceptions, about the
disease have changed – and how to better fight it. We'd love to have
more pitches about the good side of gossip, the utility of gossip. Or
perhaps well-meaning gossip that went very wrong. Or stories about how
gossip spreads in unexpected ways — maybe you told the guy sitting
next to you in an airplane a top-secret story, and then heard it
repeated back to you at a party three years later. That kind of thing.
Stories about how gossip has changed history would be great, too. We'd
probably like to avoid stories of straight-up mean gossip that had
awful consequences – just because we're all familiar with those
stories. That said, if there's a really great one, we'd certainly
consider it.

WOULD YOU RATHER: There is a growing movement in addiction programs
called “wet houses.” A wet house is essentially a homeless shelter
for alcoholics where they can go and drink, often until they die. Most
of the residents are lifetime alcoholics with multiple DWIs, arrests,
injuries, hospital stays, and failed trips to rehab. The idea is that
they will cost the state less money drinking with a roof over their
heads and being looked after by an in-house nurse than they would if
they were out on the street. It’s a program that fills many people
with a mixture of empathy and outrage but also raises the question of,
really, what is the ultimate priority here? Asking the question
“Would you rather x or y” is often an incredibly precise way to
prioritize preferences and we’re looking for more stories where – when
faced with a choice – the right answer becomes clear. It’s also a
really fun game that I play a lot with my family. Like, to my
brother: “Would you rather live in a housing project in Manhattan or
in our hometown in Western Illinois? The project might be a little
scary but you’d get real estate in Manhattan” vs. the sort of hometown
drawbacks that my brother understands but I don’t need to list here.
Or to my husband: “If you HAD to be married to one of my friends, ‘x’
or ‘y’, who would it be?” Then I know exactly who my husband wants to
leave me for. See? Endless fun! Stories that will work for this
show are stories where there are two (maybe three) clear choices and
each has its benefits and drawbacks. A political, economic, or
budgetary story would be great for this show (what is gained and what
is lost). Or a story about being stuck between a lofty ideal and a
pragmatic solution. Maybe stories about choosing a career or a
relationship or a school?

GOOD OL’ BOYS: A few years ago, at a hospital in a small town in West
Texas, two nurses filed complaints against a doctor who, they charged,
was acting unethically. They said the doctor would sometimes advise
patients to stop taking their prescribed medications and switch,
instead, to homeopathic remedies. And it just so happened the doctor
himself SOLD these remedies on the side! They said the doctor would do
unsanctioned operations in non-sterile rooms, perform unnecessary GYN
exams and other questionable things. Within a few months of filing the
complaints, though, the nurses themselves were brought up on charges
of somehow violating patient confidentiality by reporting the doctor’s
actions to the state Medical Board. The charges against the nurses
were pretty dubious and the nurses were quickly acquitted but what was
remarkable was simply the fact the nurses were charged at all. It
would suggest pretty outrageous actions on the part of the doctor, the
hospital, the sheriff and, even, the District Attorney. The nurses
say their story may seem crazy but it wasn’t all that surprising to
them – they say they knew what would happen if they went up against
the Good Ol’ Boys. “Good Ol’ Boy network” is a term that’s used a lot
in small towns – particularly in the South – but it exists in various
incarnations all over the place. We’re now looking for more stories
about powerful cliques that seem impenetrable and often-times above
the law. Wall Street seems like ripe ground for a GOB kind of story.
Or schools or clubs. Just because this Texas doctor story is sort of
large and sprawling, smaller and more personal stories would be great
for this show. Maybe a group of girls that make all the decisions?
Or a seemingly innocuous group that actually has huge influence?
Unexpected gatekeepers? It’d be great to hear from a person who
suspects that s/he is actually part of a “good ol’ boys” network.

THE MISSING PIECE: On the second day of her first job as a social
worker, a woman meets a 12 year old boy who, she thinks, everyone else
has given up on. He’s been in and out of juvie, never had a stable
home, been pushed around the state system. So she makes the kid her
first project: she helps his mother find a job, relocates the family
to a better neighborhood with better schools, gives the boy
self-confidence and a sense of responsibility by having him baby-sit
her kids. The boy thrives, gets better grades and stops getting into
trouble. Until one day, five years later, the boy shoots and kills a
college cheerleader and leaves her boyfriend for dead. For the last
15 years, the social worker has been wracked with the feeling that
this shouldn’t have happened – there must have been something she
could’ve done that would have saved the boy. The social worker now
has three kids of her own and has adopted her four nephews after they
were removed from her sister’s home, and she is worried that whatever
mistake she made with the boy, she’ll now make raising her own kids –
what’s to keep them from going off the rails, too? What could make
the difference? For this show, we’d like to find more stories about
people searching for a piece that could solve a puzzle. Or searching
for the answer to something or a missing ingredient. Science stories
would be great for this show, or business stories. Or maybe just a
story about losing something? We also have a hilarious story about a
guy getting his appendix removed so even just talking about the thing
that is missing could work for this show, too.

MY CHURCHILL MOMENT: We keep seeing the phrase “Churchill moment”: in
British politics, American politics (Obama has had at least two
already), Israeli politics….someone is always declaring or wondering
if some speech or some crisis is so-and-so’s “Churchill moment.” When
we started poking around on the web, even individual people talk about
Churchill moments. But there seems to be some confusion about what IS
a Churchill moment. Does it refer to moments where someone looks the
nation straight in the eye and delivers bad news, like when Churchill
told the British at the start of WW2 “I have nothing to offer but
blood, toil, tears and sweat?” Or does it refer to moments where
someone who has been in the political wilderness for years (as
Churchill was) suddenly gets their day in power? Or does it describe
moments where someone has an especially witty comeback, like Churchill
always seemed to? Does it encompass all these? So the idea for the
theme would be “My Churchill Moment.” Possible Churchill moment
stories: small-scale, personal Churchill moments where the story has a
speech in it that rallies everyone in spite of being full of bad news
(“The second half of this game is going to suck even worse than the
first half, but bear down and let’s beat these bastards!”); or maybe a
missed opportunity to make such a speech; a union story could work—a
leader or member trying to tell other members something they don’t
want to hear; maybe a story about the fallout from making a witty but
mean comment, i.e. what happens after a Churchill moment. Failed
Churchill moments would also work: the rousing speech that did not
rouse people; etc.

Community Health Reporting Fellowships

This fellowship is open to journalists nationwide, though the event itself takes place in Los Angeles. Details below.


The California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship

Application Deadline: May 02, 2011
How to Apply »

Who Can Apply:

This Fellowship is open to professional journalists from print, broadcast, and online media around the country, including freelancers. Applicants need not be fulltime health reporters, but they need to have a passion for health news (broadly defined). Applications from ethnic media journalists are strongly encouraged, as are applications proposing collaborative projects between mainstream and ethnic news outlets. Applicants must be based in the United States, and Fellowship projects must be published in or broadcast by bona fide journalistic outlets, not outlets whose operations are funded exclusively by a corporation, foundation, university, or advocacy organization. Journalism students are ineligible. Please contact us at if you have questions about your eligibility.

Event Schedule:

July 24 – July 29, 2011. The National Health Journalism Fellowships offer journalists from around the country an opportunity to explore the intersection between community health, health policy and the nation's growing diversity. Reporting projects are supported with a $2,000 grant to each Fellowship recipient. 

At a time when one-third of the 300 million residents in the United States are ethnic minorities, this program explores the cultural dynamics at play in the debate over health policy. Based in Los Angeles, an international city that has been called a "proving ground" for a multicultural society, program participants learn about health trends, policy innovations and political conflicts involving health and health care. California has the largest numbers of Asians and Latinos in the nation, and many of the health challenges and opportunities that accompany changing demographics have been debated and legislated here for decades.
During field trips and seminars, fellows hear from prize-winning journalists and leaders in community health, health policy, and medicine. They go home with a deeper understanding of current health care reform initiatives and gain insight into the larger picture of colliding interests and political battles over health policy. Participants also explore ways to document — through data, online maps and stories — the health inequities in their local communities. Hands-on workshops also provide fellows with new sources, practical reporting tips and multimedia strategies to reach a broader digital audience.

Program Description:

The National Health Journalism Fellowships are offered over a six-day period, beginning with an evening keynote address on Sunday night and ending with a midday wrap-up session the following Friday. Participants are expected to attend all sessions. To encourage journalists and their newsrooms to aim high in reporting on health at a time of scarce resources, we offer a $2,000 stipend to fellows in this track upon completion of what are expected to be ambitious, major fellowship projects. To stimulate collaboration between mainstream and ethnic media, we encourage applicants to propose a joint project for use by both media outlets. Up to two collaborators for each project may receive a stipend. 

The California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship

Program Highlights:

The 2011 program is still being finalized.  Here are some highlights from the 2010 program:
  • John A. Rich, M.D., M.P.H, a MacArthur Genius Award winner and author of Wrong Place, Wrong Time: Trauma and Violence in the Lives of Young Black Men, spoke about youth violence, strategies to prevent it, strategies to report on it, as well as the impact of recurrent trauma and violence on the health of young black men.
  • A visit to Homeboy Industries provided a closeup view of one program in action. Fellows heard from a panel of experts about different strategies for gang and violence prevention, including Olis Simmons, executive director of Project Youth Uprising, Father Stan Bosch, a priest and psychotherapist who provides group counseling to gang members, and Dr. Theodore Corbin, an emergency room physician and medical director of Healing Hurt People at Drexel University. Patrick Boyle, editor of Youth Today, moderated.
  •  A how-to talk by Suzanne Bohan and Sandy Kleffman, former Health Journalism Fellows and Bay Area News Group reporters who won a White House Correspondents’ Prize for their project, Shortened Lives: Where You Lives Matters.
  • A conversation with Mary Lee, from PolicyLink, on “Health and Place.”
  • A unique view of the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, the nation’s busiest ports, on the Urban Ocean: World Port and Sealife Cruise hosted by the Aquarium of the Pacific. The tour provided a first-hand look at what happens when heavy industry and the natural environment share the same landscape.
  • A briefing by key thinkers who have studied, regulated, managed and challenged the Port of Los Angeles as it launched historic air-quality improvements. In a discussion led by Journalist Deborah Schoch, Fellows learned about the economic and community health impacts of the goods movement industry (shipping and trucking).
  • A briefing by two of the country’s top diabetes experts, Dr. Fran Kaufman and Dr. William Knowler, on diabetes research, including Kaufman's study of a school-based obesity prevention and reduction strategy and Knowler's research on exercise and nutrition-based interventions for adults at risk of diabetes. 
  •  A look at novel technologies for participatory mapping (and community journalism) using mobile phones
  • A case for the value of using maps to tell stories about inequity, with Ann Moss Joyner, head of the Cedar Grove Institute for Sustainable Communities.

doc iconNational Health Journalism Fellowship.doc

a bunch of NY EVENTS this week

A bunch of NYC events and resources for the next week, courtesy of Columbia j-school prof Sree Sreenivasan. (NY folks – get on one of his many lists if you want to hear about more NY events. He's got his finger on the pulse of EVERYTHING!)




* Tuesday, March 22 · 12:00pm – 3:30pm
   Columbia School of Public Health
   Perspectives on the Current Crisis in Japan

* Wednesday, March 23, 5pm
   Columbia School of the Arts
   Creative Fundraising Panel

* Wednesday, March 23, 7 to 9 pm
   Barnard College
   Reporting the Revolution: What's next for the Arab World?

* Fri, March 25, 12 pm to 2 pm
   Asia Society
   Makers of Modern India: Ramachandra Guha in conversation with Christopher Lydon

* Fri, March 25, 5:30 – 7 pm
   Columbia Journalism School & SAJA
  "Geek Nation: How Indian Science is Taking Over the World"

* Sun, March 27, 4-6 pm
  Riverside Church
  Interfaith Time of Reflection for Japan
  A Benefit Event for Japan featuring Japanese Disaster Survivors, Speakers
  and Musicians

* Wed, March 30, 6:30-8:30 pm
 AAJA/SAJA at Columbia Journalism School
 Social Media Workshop and Fundraiser for Japan

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Tuesday, March 22 · 12:00pm – 3:30pm
Columbia School of Public Health
      Perspectives on the Current Crisis in Japan

        Speakers Featured:
        David Brenner, PhD, Director of the Center for Radiological
        Research   at Columbia
        University Medical Center

        Yasuko Nagamatsu, RN, PHN, MPH, Senior Assistant Professor in
        International Nursing, St. Luke's
        College of Nursing in Tokyo and expert on public health efforts
        following the Kobe earthquake

        Panel Discussion 
        Moderated by Irwin Redlener, MD, Director National Center for Disaster
        Preparedness (NCDP)
        Panelists will include:

      David Brenner, PhD, Director of the Center for Radiological Research

      Richard Garfield, DrPH, RN, NCDP and Henrik H. Bendixen Professor of
      Clinical International Nursing

        Yasuko Nagamatsu, RN, PHN, MPH, Senior Assistant Professor in
        International Nursing, 
        St. Luke's College of Nursing
Introductory Remarks:  Dean Linda Fried

WHEN:       Tuesday, March 22, 2011
                 12:00 -2:00 pm
WHERE:      Alumni Auditorium, Black Building, Columbia University Medical Center 650 West 168 Street (corner of Fort Washington Ave.)

CONTACT:   Members of the media: For more information and to RSVP, please contact Stephanie Berger, Mailman
School of Public Health – 212-305-4372/5635, 
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 5pm, School of the Arts, Dodge Hall, Room 413
Creative Fund-raising Panel

Learn how to use social media and your network to creatively raise funds for your next project.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 5pm, School of the Arts, Dodge Hall, Room 413

Register Today!!

The Creative Fund-raising Panel will include guest speakers from:
IndieGoGo: IndieGoGo helps you raise more money, from more people, faster. Learn how to set up a
professional online funding campaign.

Women Make Movies: Women Make Movies is a program that provides support to women in independent production.
They will discuss their Production Assistance Program (the organization's key Fiscal Sponsorship Program).

Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP): The IFP Fiscal Sponsorship is exclusively for creative, artistic and/or
educational film, video and trans-media projects.

Refreshments will be provided.

Presented by Columbia School of the Arts Artists' Resource Center & Career Services.

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Reporting the Revolution: What's next for the Arab World?
Wednesday, March 23rd, 7 to 9 pm
Barnard College – Barnard Hall

We invite you to an evening with some of the best journalists of the 21st century, who have been covering the recent revolts in North Africa and the Middle East. You will have the opportunity to hear accounts and analysis of the Arab revolutions from those who have brought them to us live over the past few months!

This round-table will discuss the implications of the popular struggles that have swept the region and raise the ques…tion 'What's next?" – whether in Egypt, Palestine, or elsewhere.

*Ayman Mohyeldin, Middle East-based correspondent for Al Jazeera English. Ayman has covered the December 2008 Israeli Airstrikes over Gaza. He became the first journalist to report on the intricate network of tunnels that were once used for smuggling of weapons and people across the Egyptian-Gaza border. Most recently, Ayman covered the Egyptian Revolution for Al-Jazeera Arabic and English.

*Sharif Abdel Kouddous, Senior Producer and correspondent for Democracy Now! has covered the Egyptian revolution. Sharif covered a plethora of stories around the world, including reporting from Baghdad during the Iraq war, New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Haiti in the days after the January 2010 earthquake as well as the Democratic and Republican conventions in 2004 and 2008.

*Max Blumenthal, Independent journalist, writing fellow for the Nation Insitute, columnist, documentary filmmaker, and political blogger. His work has been featured on The Nation, The American Prospect, Washington Monthly, Al Jazeera English, Alternet, and The Huffington Post.

*Mostafa Omar, Egyptian socialist and reporter on worker and popular struggles in Egypt, including the recent wave of strikes and the formation of new independent trade union federations. Omar is also a contributor to 'The Struggle for Palestine' and the International Socialist Review.

** This event will be moderated by Prof. Bashir Abu-Manneh. Bashir Abu-Manneh is Assistant Professor of English and director of the Film Studies program at Barnard College. He teaches courses in Global Literature, Palestinian and Israeli literature, Marxism, and Post colonialism.

Co-sponsored by:
Turath, Columbia International Socialist Organization, Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine, Muslim Student Association, the Arab Student Association at SIPA, and the Arab Middle Eastern Journalist Association at the Journalism school

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NEW SERIES: Makers of Modern India: Ramachandra Guha in conversation with Christopher Lydon

Makers of Modern India
by Ramachandra Guha

725 Park Avenue, New York, NY (at 70th st)
$7 members; $10 students with ID and seniors; $15 nonmembers

Inaugurating a major new series on figures who have shaped India in the modern world, Asia Society welcomes one of that country’s preeminent historians, Ramachandra Guha, for a special luncheon conversation with radio and Internet journalist Christopher Lydon, host for Radio Open Source, produced in partnership with Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies.

Guha's new book, Makers of Modern India, presents 19 brilliant and fascinating personalities who have played a critical role in India's emergence as the world's largest democracy and a rising economic colossus. This anthology provides a representative sampling of the writings of key figures including Gandhi, Ambedkar, Tagore, and Nehru, as well as lesser-known but seminal writers like Rammohan Roy and Syed Ahmed Khan, placing them in the broad historical context of India's political evolution. Sunil Khilnani of Johns Hopkins University calls it "an indispensable introduction to the rich diversity of Indian political argument and a testament to the intellectual ferment out of which India emerged."

Historian, columnist, environmental activist and passionate cricket fan, Ramachandra Guha is the author of India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy and other books.

A brown-bag lunch is available for purchase at an addition cost or bring your own. Lunch orders must be received at least 48 hours before the program.

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SAJA BOOK CONVERSATION: "Geek Nation: How Indian Science is Taking Over the World"

     FRIDAY, March 25, 2011
     05:30 PM – 07:00 PM
     Columbia Journalism School, Stabile Student Center, 116th St & Broadway
     on the main Columbia campus (#1 subway to 116th St)


SAJA, the South Asian Journalists Association (@sajaHQ) presents…

Join Angela Saini (@angelaDsaini), the London-basedauthor of a major new book on India and the role of science (past, present and future) in a rare appearance in New York City.

The book is entitled: "Geek Nation: How Indian Science is Taking Over the World" (which has just been published by Hodder & Stoughton). Here's what the Sunday Times said about her work: "Saini has a genuine talent for describing science."

Saini will be joined by veteran science writer (Time and elsewhere) and long-time SAJA member Unmesh Kher, in a conversation moderated by an alleged Indian geek, Prof. Sree Sreenivasan (@sree), Columbia J-school professor and SAJA co-founder. They will discuss these and other questions:

     How did India become a scientific superpower?
     What lessons can America learn from India's ascent?
     Why isn't Indian science more innovative than it is now?
     Can science help India deal with its problems of poverty, malnutrition?
     What do sports failures got to do with India's science success?
     Is India really, as she says, "a nation of nerds, dweebs, dorks, boffins
     and geeks"?

Refreshments will be served; this is a free, public event.
If you'd like to interview her or learn more about the book you can email her at angela.d.saini (at) (tell her SAJA sent you).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Angela Saini is an award-winning independent journalist based in London, and the author of Geek Nation, a journey through India, to find out whether the country is set to become the world's next scientific superpower. Her work focuses on science, technology and their impact on society. Angela's writing has been published in New Scientist, Science, Wired and The Economist, and she's a regular reporter on BBC radio science shows, including Digital Planet. Angela was shortlisted for the best feature award from the Association of British Science Writers in 2010 and named European Junior Science Writer of the Year by the Euroscience Foundation in 2009. Before going freelance, she was a reporter for BBC News in London, where her investigation into bogus universities won the Prix Circom Award for European television journalism. She started out as a newspaper journalist in New Delhi before joining ITN in London on its prestigious News Trainee scheme. Her undergraduate degree was a Masters in Engineering from Oxford University and she has a second Masters in Science and Security from the Department of War Studies at King's College London.

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Sunday, March 27 4-6pm
Interfaith Time for Reflection Benefit event for Japan
at The Riverside Church 490 Riverside Drive (between 120-122 Sts.),
The Interfaith Time of Reflection for Japan event will feature prayer and reflection by interfaith leaders, Japanese survivors and speakers from the three prefectures damaged by the earthquake and tsunami as well asperformances by Japanese musicians.

Among the participants are Kenjiro Sasaki from Sendai and Yoji Shikama from Fukushima. The musicians include pianist,Taka Kigawa, and koto player, Masayo Ishigure. An interfaith service led by Rev TK Nakagaki with include leaders from the Buddhist, Shinto, Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths.

"This will be a chance for the Japanese community here in New York, and all New Yorkers, to come together for healing and comfort," said Reverend Nakagaki. "I hope the event can provide us with the spiritual encouragement and strength to overcome this time of suffering together."

All donations received will be sent to Japan for relief efforts.

Pls join our new FB page at

ps we need 25 likes on our FB page to get upgraded, pls join. Thx!



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Learn how to be a social media maven, connect with colleagues, and give generously to the people of Japan.

Sree Sreenivasan (@sree), Columbia Journalism School professor and one of Poynter's 35 most influential people on social media will download all the tips and strategies you need to be a wired, networked, engaged reporter.

The event is free for AAJA and SAJA members.  Admission is $30 for all others.

Ticket proceeds and your generous donations will go to the Japan Society’s Japan Earthquake Relief Fund.  This fund directly benefits local Japanese and American non-profits that are working on the frontline of disaster relief and recovery in Japan.

Please join us for a fun and educational evening, and an opportunity to give on Wednesday March 30th at 6:30-8:30 pm.  At:

Columbia Journalism School
Pulitzer World Room
116th St & Broadway (#1 train to 116th St)

RSVP to:

For more information on the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund, please visit

Sign up for AAJA membership (open to all):

Sign up for SAJA membeship (open to all):

ABOUT THE WORKSHOP:  Already comfortable on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn? Then it's time to take it your social-media skills to the next level.  See what new tools, tips and best practices Sree has encountered teaching social media at Columbia and around the country.   Learn how to use Foursquare and geolocation services as a journalist.

THE SPEAKER: Prof. Sree Sreenivasan, Dean of Student Affairs, Columbia Journalism School & contributing editor, – one of AdAge's 25 media people to follow on Twitter and one of Poynter's 35 most influential people in social media.

More on him at and you can see how he uses social media by connecting with him on Twitter: http:/ | Facebook: | LinkedIn:

He promises the workshop, like his tweets, will most likely be helpful, useful, informative, relevant, practical, actionable, entertaining, fun & occasionally funny!


one open spot in this weekend’s Bay Area Soup-to-Nuts documentary radio training workshop

Another Bay Area opportunity to learn radio documentary from one of the best. One spot left in Claire Schoen's two day intensive!


"From Soup to Nuts"

A 2-day intensive

on documentary radio production

offered in the San Francisco Bay Area



This seminar will be held March 26 and 27, 2011.

Each day's class will run from 10 am to 5:30 pm,

including 6 hours of class work, plus lunch and breaks.


It will be held at Claire’s studio in Berkeley, California

Class will be limited to 8 students.

The cost of the 2-day seminar is $250.


The Course:

Through lectures, group discussion, Q & A, written handouts, and lots of audio demos, this two-day class will explore the ins and outs of creating a long-form radio documentary. Designed to meet the needs of mid-level producers, this seminar will also be accessible to individuals who have little or no experience in radio production.


Compelling audio documentary incorporates a creative weave of elements including narration, interviews, music, vérité scenes, character portraits, dramatizations, performances, archival tape and ambience beds. Students learn how these elements serve to paint a picture in sound.


Emphasis will be put on the production process. To this end, the class will examine the steps of concept development, research, pre-production, recording techniques, interviewing, writing, organizing tape, scripting, editing and mixing required to create an audio documentary.


Most importantly, we will focus on the art of storytelling. We will discuss dramatic structure, taking the listener through introduction, development and resolution of a story. And we will explore how character development brings the listener to the heart of the story.


The Teacher:

Claire Schoen is a media producer, with a special focus on documentary radio. As a producer/director, she has created over 20 long-form radio documentaries and several documentary films, as well as numerous short works. As a sound designer she has recorded, edited and mixed sound for film, video, radio, webstory, museums and theater productions. Her radio documentaries have garnered numerous awards including NFCB Golden and Silver Reels, two Gracies, two Clarion awards, a PASS and a New York International Festival Silver. She has also shared in both a Peabody and a DuPont-Columbia.


Claire has taught documentary radio scriptwriting and production at numerous venues including U.C. Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, Third Coast Audio Festival Conferences and AIR's mentorship program.


To Register:

Contact Claire Schoen  •  510-540-5106  •




Second Kitchen Sisters Workshop added March 31st, 2-5pm

Bay Area folks interested in audio – this is not to be missed if you want to learn from the masters. Details below.


Dear Friends,

We have added an afternoon workshop on March 31st from 2:00-5:00 PM. There are a few spaces still left. Email if you'd like to come.

Original announcement:

Davia Nelson of The Kitchen Sisters is conducting a basic recording and interviewing workshop in San Francisco on Thursday, March 31 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM (this session is now full) and 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM. The three-hour workshop is for people who want to acquire and hone their skills for an array of projects–radio, online storytelling, oral histories, audio slide shows, family histories, and other multimedia endeavors.

We will cover miking techniques, sound gathering, use of archival audio, how to make interviewees comfortable, how to frame evocative questions that make for compelling storytelling, how to listen (which is harder than it looks), how to use interviews in conjunction with images, field recording techniques, recording equipment and more. The workshop is customized to fit the projects you are working on.

People who attend come from radio, film, multimedia, newspapers, photography, oral history, historical societies, farms, music, writing, libraries, archives, web design and beyond. The groups are always lively and good contacts are made.

The fee is $115. Of course, there will be a snack. The workshops are held in Francis Coppola's historic Zoetrope building in North Beach at 916 Kearny Street (at the corner of Columbus).

If you, or someone you know is interested, email

For Fellows working in California – Irvine Foundation California Leadership Award

Short, sweet, and totally self-explanatory.


For Fellows working in California:  Irvine Foundation California Leadership Award
Deadline: April 29, 2011

Grants of $125,000 are awarded to individuals and groups working to advance innovative and effective solutions to significant California issues; nominees may come from any sector and any field of interest. More information can be found  here.

Long-Form Storytelling in a Short Attention Span World, streaming TONIGHT, 3/16, 7pm ET

This looks really interesting. I'll be tuning in via live stream. Details below.


Long-Form Storytelling in a Short Attention Span World

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 7:00 p.m.

This discussion will cover the full scope of putting together long-form investigative pieces, including: what topics appeal to audiences; how can you make complex issues interesting and easy to understand; is television, the web, radio or print the best medium for long-form reports; and what methods of funding or business models are best suited to support in-depth stories. Ira Glass, Host and Producer,This American LifeDavid Remnick, Editor, The New YorkerRaney Aronson-Rath, Series Senior Producer, PBS FrontlineStephen Engelberg, Managing Editor,ProPublica.  Moderated by Alison Stewart, Co-Anchor, PBS Need To Know.

This event is also available as a live stream. Please visit this site to view it live on the evening of the event:

Sponsored by ProPublica and the New School. 


Tishman Auditorium, Alvin Johnson/J. M. Kaplan Hall, 66 West 12th Street


Free; seating is limited; reservations required by calling or emailing

Phone: 212.229.5353