the quest to ‘crash the super bowl’: a love story

For PostTV, I explored the brands that got the Super Bowl formula right. The truth is, I’m much more qualified to talk about unsuccessful commercials. I’ve been helping my husband make them for a very long time. ..Full story here

A second look: The new Journalism Ecosystem

The recent momentum of the new nonprofit journalism phenomenon is continuing despite the difficult U.S. economy, according to an analysis by the Investigative Reporting Workshop’s iLab.

Photo courtesy of the Investigative Reporting Workshop

A year after publishing our initial new journalism ecosystem story, searchable database and national map, we have revisited each of the original 60 nonprofit news publishers profiled, and we have included 15 additional journalistic nonprofits, most of them recently created organizations.

The cumulative annual operating budget totals for the original 60 nonprofit news publishers profiled in October 2010 was $84 million, not including estimated, non-disclosed budgets. A year later, these publishers’ operating budgets altogether are $86 million (including the final 2011 budget of the now-defunct Capitol News Connection). The annual operating budgets of 26 organizations remained the same; for 16 publishers, their budgets increased; for 10 organizations, their operating budgets decreased; and eight groups did not disclose their numbers. With the additional 15 nonprofit publishers (excluding CNC and including Consumer Reports, which has an annual budget of $43.1 million and roughly 600 full-time employees), the total annual funding and number of employees for the 75 journalistic organizations profiled in our database is $135 million and 1,300 full-time employees, respectively… Full story here.



‘Dropping out’ of the middle class

Thousands of people took to the National Mall last October in the name of jobs, justice and education at the “One Nation Working Together” rally in Washington, D.C. The event brought together union members, activists and students from around the country, all asking Washington to focus on the needs of working-class Americans before the November 2010 midterm elections.

Melanie Collins, who provides child care in her home, took a union-sponsored bus from Falmouth, Maine, to attend the event.

In her 11 years caring for children, she said in an interview at the rally last year, she had not seen a parent pull a child out because of job loss. That changed when the economy began its downward spiral in 2007.

“It’s really hard when … you’ve been taking care of a kid, and you know they’re going to really struggle now because dad’s lost his job,” she said in a video interview.

Fast forward to 2011. The midterm elections have come and gone. Jobs are no more visible on the political agenda than they were last fall. One Nation’s campaign seems to have died down. Its website is dormant, and calls to the organization were not returned. And Collins said not much has changed in Maine. …Full story here.



Blocks away, a world apart: Latino immigrants shape and meet the needs of the unique Alexandria community

Situated in Alexandria, right past the Alexandria/Arlington line, and a zip code away from some of the most affluent neighborhoods in the city, is the area commonly called “Arlandria.”

It can be pinpointed on a map, and some may recognize the strip of stores and restaurants on Mount Vernon Avenue, which serves as its main street. Yet many people, including those nearby, might not be aware of what—and who—makes up the Arlandria community. Many Latino immigrants have renamed it Chirilagua, after a region in El Salvador where many of the neighborhood’s residents come from.

The diversity and significant Latino population in the Arlandria neighborhood creates a unique intersection of class, language and culture in the inner suburbs of D.C. …Full story here.

See and hear more from Tenants and Workers United members about the organization’s health project and its impact on the community.



Exploring the “G-word” in Ward 8

While Ward 8 has endured a culturally rich past and troubled present, the “east of the river” community is currently home to a revival of sorts – and, according to some of its residents, plenty of misperceptions as well.

Gentrification. From news reports to documentaries, the term has come to encompass many of the problems and changes that affect residents in the city’s southernmost and poorest ward.

Gentrification means something to everybody — so we asked. …Full story here.

See four video profiles reflecting four Ward 8 residents’ take on the “G-word”…



A look back at Ward 8

A former convicted felon as a council member. The beginnings of new development. A proud, culturally-diverse populace. Ward 8 is the one of the District’s most historically significant areas.

The poorest ward in the District, Ward 8 is the southernmost geographically and home to nearly a dozen individual neighborhoods, historic landmarks such as the Frederick Douglas National Historic Site, Barry Farm, and various other attractions.

The city councilmember for Ward 8 is former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, who won an overwhelming majority of the vote in the 2004 city council election. Barry was mayor from 1979 to 1991 and again from 1995 to 1999. His terms were broken up because Barry was charged with drug possession in 1990 and served a 6-month prison sentence between 1991 and 1992. …Full story here.


Art and community intersect in Southeast D.C.

The Anacostia Art Gallery and Boutique is hard to miss. Campaign signs line the green chain-link fence that encloses the front yard. Fire-engine-red front steps lead up to a shiny blue porch surrounded by a bright yellow railing. Decorative mirrors and carved wooden chairs lean against the front wall, on which brightly colored geometric shapes are painted. Abstract designs wind in purples, blues and greens around the porch columns, sprawling up and across the second-story facade. An “Open” sign hangs in the front door.

Situated in the D.C. neighborhood of Anacostia, at the top of a hill where Bruce Place intersects Fort Place Southeast the house-turned-gallery is flanked on one side by nondescript brick row houses, on the other by an empty grass lot. Some weekends, in the empty lot next door, a hand-made sign touting the “Rev. Moses Tabernacle Church Yard Sale” hangs in front of an array of clothes, furniture and other miscellaneous items — including, one Saturday afternoon, a toy Tweety Bird sitting in an overstuffed chair. …Full story here.

Photos from the Anacostia Art Gallery and Boutique.





Opera Theatre brings Amahl and the Night Visitors to life once more

UNCG Opera Theatre’s annual holiday performance is coming soon.

The UNCG School of Music’s ninth annual production of Gian Carlo Menotti’s opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors, will be presented this year at Greensboro’s Westover Church, 505 Muirs Chapel Rd. on Tues. and Wed., Dec. 19-20.

The classic opera centers around a poor and crippled shepherd boy and his mother who are visited one night by the Three Wise Men, en route to the star of Bethlehem bearing gifts for the newborn King.  …Full story here.



Eyelashes flying everywhere, Style-n-Stereo gets underway

Nearly 40 students showed up for Thursday’s model auditions, organized by promotions director, Kat Lee. People of all styles, shapes, sizes and sex strutted their stuff in front of an audience of judges and designers for one of twenty spots in campus radio station WUAG’s annual Style-n-Stereo fashion show, which will display two lines of clothes – Carnival and Natural Disasters – and the reconstruction line, Bedwear, featuring clothes designed out sheets, curtains and other bedroom items.  …Full story here.



The Writers’ Group of the Triad

“It’s easier not to write than to write. Except if you are a writer. Then you have no choice.” Nobel Prize winner, Elie Wiesel’s quote introduces the website for The Writers’ Group of the Triad and helps set the tone for what the group is all about.

Founded by Judith Hill nearly sixty years ago and formerly called the Greensboro Writers Club, the Writers’ Group of the Triad is a non-profit group organized by writers “for writers.” The organization now has about a dozen subgroups that focus on specific genres of writing, including children’s writing, mystery, novel, poetry and nonfiction writing. Its nearly 100 members meet each month with their fellow writers and authors in the critique group of their choice to share, review, edit and get feedback on their own works.  …Full story here.



WUAG Presents: A New Compilation, A Different Release

Campus radio station WUAG’s long-awaited record release show takes off at The Flying Anvil on Saturday, April 29.

The new downtown venue, on Lewis Street at the corner of Eugene and Lee Streets, will be hosting the show, releasing WUAG’s compilation album – a two-disc project title ‘WUAG Presents: 18 Watts Is Better Than None,’ featuring national and local artists. …Full story here.



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