Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Hawaiian Breeze Candle

I bought a Glade Hawaiian Breeze scented candle a few weeks ago, and I lit it for the first time tonight. It's crazy how one candle can make you forget where you are. It's only been burning for about 20 minutes, and my entire house smells like Hawaii... I guess I've never been to Hawaii, but regardless, the $2 candle has transported me to paradise, and inspired tonight's blog post.

As I was pulling into work this morning, I saw the red light on my blackberry flickering. It was an email from a good friend. The subject: "You and worry..."

At the very top, a question, "What Happens When You Worry?"

As I kept reading the message, one sentence struck me... "Worry doesn't take the sorrow out of tomorrow-it takes the strength out of today."

I wasn't expecting this "self-help" email from the friend who sent it. Regardless, I was appreciative and grateful, because despite some of the life-altering experiences I've encountered in the past year--realities that have shown me the value of today and the uncertainty of tomorrow-- I still find myself worrying about the future. My worries are generally about my job, and where my career is going.

It's been almost five months since I graduated from UF, and through my occasional "Facebook stalking," I've learned that several of my classmates have landed some sick jobs right out of college. I've got friends working for the network in NYC, others are reporting in top 50 markets...I can't help but look at myself--reporting for Gainesville's local ABC affiliate-- and not be anxious about where I stand in the world.

It's been five days since I interviewed Pastor Terry Jones, the man behind "Burn a Koran Day." I never expected that I'd be covering an international story during my time at TV20.

Although my coverage wasn't featured on CNN, or picked up by a big city ABC affiliate, I'm still grateful for the experience. For the first time in my young career, I was thrown into a media circus, where I was setting up my tripod and camera next to network news corespondents, BBC reporters, photographers that have been around the world and back... 

I saw first hand, the effects of social networking--- how Pastor Jones' message crossed oceans, and brought journalists from around the world to the front lawn of his small Gainesville church. I saw a clear illustration of traditional news media losing it's power. Journalists are no longer gatekeepers of news and information for the public... editors and producers no longer the sole judges of which stories are appropriate, which sources are credible, which quotes are valuable... 

Here was a story that, in my opinion, was made newsworthy by the people....the tweets, the Facebook groups, the YouTube videos-- the news media only added fuel to the fire.

The story opened my eyes to some of the realities of this changing industry... and it happened right here, in little old Gainesville. 

I know in my heart that God has put me here for a reason. I've also learned that much like my two dollar Hawaiian Breeze candle, a story can make you forget where you are- a story knows no boundaries- a story has the power to touch lives around the world.

In both my life and career, I can't worry about tomorrow. I need to save my strength- keeping my passion and fire burning for the story today.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pastor Jones, all you need is LOVE!

Interviewing Pastor Terry Jones

Wall decor inside pastor's office

"John loved and prayed for the human race. Please tell people to pray the same for him. Remember that he had deep faith in love and that, though he has now joined the greater force, he is still with us."

Yoko Ono, December 1980

If the bible isn't teaching Pastor Jones about love, peace, and understanding....perhaps he needs to listen to The Beatles.  

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A dark cloud...

Noon: Interfaith Prayer Service....Holy Trinity Episcopal Church...Downtown Gainesville

People from all walks of life came together, to pray for peace.

A moment of silence for those who lost their lives on 9-11-01

Gainesville Mayor Craig Lowe

2 PM: I took a drive to the Dove World Outreach Center, where Pastor Terry Jones was addressing the media.

As I was pulling away, I took a picture with my phone, and posted it on twitter.

The dark cloud over the Dove World Outreach Center made me wonder what God thought about all this...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Twitter and Terry Moran

Terry Moran interviewing President Barack Obama....

Terry Moran sitting in front of my desk.

The preacher that's putting Gainesville on the international stage with his Koran bonfire scheduled for September 11th, has brought ABC's Terry Moran to TV20. Named co-anchor of Nightline in 2005, Moran has chased stories around the world.

Before I left the station, I thought I'd interrupt Moran as he worked on his script to introduce myself, (I mean, when's the next time I'd be THIS close to Terry Moran?)

We started talking about the industry, where it's going, and what role social media is playing in it all.

Basically, Moran told me to TWEET.

The tweets that Moran said, put him on the map in the twitter world:

On board Air Force One. Pancakes, bacon and eggs on the menu. Twix and snickers for snacks. Music on AF1 includes: Jason Mraz, Goldfrapp, lots of J Legend, Rihanna, + Jeremy Pelt! AF1 lunch: baked potato topped w/ BBQ chicken, fudge brownie. Yum.